International airline group IAG has announced British Airways (BA) restarts Gatwick short haul routes. The resumption of flights from London Gatwick, following a 2-year hiatus. The airline withdrew its short haul destinations from Gatwick shortly after the start of the pandemic at the start of 2020.
The flights, which are already being advertised from March 2022, will initially be operated by BA. The routes will however be taken over by their low cost subsidiary, BA EuroFlyer, once regulatory approval has been given.
The airline had hoped to be up and running sooner, however setting up the company has been delayed by the need for the competitions watchdog to give their approval as well as the need to reach an agreement with unions.
To date the unions have been unhappy with what is being offered, with BA EuroFlyer asking for more flexibility in working arrangements that what is required from BA pilots and crew. Although many of the thousands who lost their jobs during the pandemic are keen to work, the union is keen to ensure that they are employed on acceptable working terms.
The flights which are already available to book online, cost from £39 each way and compare favourably with other low cost airlines operating from Gatwick. Regular travellers from the UK will no doubt be pleased to hear of the option as BA restarts Gatwick short haul routes.
Speaking about the announcement Gatrix Chief Executive Stuart Wingate said “despite the ongoing public health situation today’s announcement is a positive signal that consumer confidence is returning as people start thinking about making trouble plans for next summer“.
Others within the industry are less upbeat about the news. Whilst they have welcomed the announcement, they believe that the testing regime in the UK is a barrier to travel, with EuroStar reporting bookings down to less than 30% since the reintroduction of the testing and isolation regime.
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