British Airways will resume short-haul flights from London Gatwick airport through the introduction of a new subsidiary airline, starting in March 2022.
The new airline will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Airways and will operate under the same branding. As such, the new airline will be virtually indistinguishable from the mainline operations, but will take over a large number of mostly “leisure” routes such as Spanish and Greek destinations. A total of 35 routes will be offered, some of which will be existing routes moving back from Heathrow to Gatwick, whilst others will be offered from both airports.
It was not immediately clear which aircraft will be used to operate these flights, although BA does still have a large number of Airbus A320ceo family aircraft in storage since it reduced its operational footprint as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. At present, it can be assumed these aircraft will be used to operate the flights due to the fairly short term nature of the announcement in addition to the lack of any additional firm aircraft order by parent company, IAG.
British Airways previously ceased short-haul operations from Gatwick with the decline in travel in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. Most of the routes operated from London’s second biggest airport were merged into Heathrow as slots were released due to the drop in demand, while others were ceased altogether.
Matt is a Berlin-based writer and reporter for International Flight Network. Originally from London, he has been involved in aviation from a very young age and has a particular focus on aircraft safety, accidents and technical details.