British Airways Suspends Short-Haul London Gatwick Operation
The British Airways network has announced the suspension of the short-haul London Gatwick operation.
This comes after the airline, for the past year and a half, suspended most routes to and from the airport or operating from Heathrow.
British Airways says it has been losing money on European flights from London Gatwick for years. To remain competitive in the coming years, the airline had hoped to shake up its operations from the airport drastically.
BALPA, the pilots union, isn’t on board with the proposals. Their Acting General Secretary, Martin Chalk, commented:
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Despite our best efforts, BALPA was unable to reach an agreement with British Airways on revised Terms and Conditions for London Gatwick (LGW) Short-haul, that was acceptable to our members.
As a result of BALPA’s decision not to support the proposal, British Airways has decided to indefinitely suspend all short-haul flying from London Gatwick.
An airline spokesperson told Simple Flying that they were disappointed with BALPA’s decision, adding:
After many years of losing money on European flights from the airport, we were clear that coming out of the pandemic, we needed a plan to make Gatwick profitable and competitive. With regret, we will now suspend our short-haul operations at Gatwick.
Moving forward, the airline has said it will pursue alternative uses for its London Gatwick slots. Head for Points believes that British Airways has several options when it comes to its slots.
The airline could redistribute them to other IAG airlines such as Vueling or LEVEL or sell the slots.
British Airways isn’t the first to throw the towel in at London Gatwick Airport since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Early on last year, the airline’s rival Virgin Atlantic pulled its long-haul operations out of the airport.