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British Airways cancels short-haul London Gatwick operations

British Airways has confirmed that it will not be operating any short-haul services from London Gatwick, other than a handful of domestic flights.

Although British Airways’ main hub is London Heathrow, London Gatwick used to be a vital part of its network. Despite this, for the last year and a half, most routes to and from the airport have been suspended or are operating from Heathrow. However, rather than once again operating flights from London Gatwick, it looks as though British Airways is now set to ditch short-haul operations from the airport.

For many years, British Airways has said that it has been losing money on European flights. To remain competitive in the coming years, the airline had hoped to shake up its operations from the airport drastically. A few weeks ago, the airline had even proposed to launch a new low-cost subsidiary that would focus on London Gatwick operations.

BALPA, the pilots union, isn’t onboard with the proposals. Martin Chalk, their Acting General Secretary, said:

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.

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As a result of BALPA’s decision not to support the proposal, British Airways has decided to indefinitely suspend all short-haul services from London Gatwick Airport. A British Airways spokesperson, in a statement to Simple Flying, said 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.

The flag carrier of the United Kingdom said that it will pursue alternative uses for its London Gatwick slots. According to Head for Points, the carrier has several options when it comes to its slots. BA could redistribute them to other IAG airlines such as Vueling or LEVEL. The other option floated is selling the slots.

Meanwhile, Buy-On-Board has returned to British Airways’ short-haul flights and the airline has announced four new routes out of Belfast. The airline has reopened its First Class lounge at New York JFK for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began and has increased flights between India and London following a surge in demand. British Airways has also resumed flights to Phoenix, Arizona and Chennai, India & has reopened Concorde Room at London Heathrow and New York – JFK. The airline has launched ‘BA Better World’ Sustainability Programme and a new livery supporting this programme and also announced two new routes to Portugal. British Airways will resume flights to Austin, Texas on 13th October after a 17-month absence.

Featured image by Wikimedia Commons

What do you think of British Airways suspending short-haul operations from London Gatwick? Let me know in the comments section below.

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