May 18, 2018

BA owner in deal to keep extra Gatwick slots

British Airways owner IAG has struck a deal with Qatar Airways and tour operator Thomas Cook to hold on to extra airline slots at Gatwick, which it gained after the collapse of Monarch last year. IAG turned to Qatar Airways, its biggest shareholder, and Thomas Cook's airline to help it fill the extra slots over the busy summer period as its seeks to embed its position at Gatwick, Britain's second-biggest airport. Although agreements between airline groups to fill slots are common, Willie Walsh was under pressure to strike these deals quickly or face losing some of the extra capacity, which cost the company an estimated £60m in November. A person familiar with the deal confirmed that Qatar was using some of IAG's new slots after some "Horse-trading". For Thomas Cook, gaining extra slots at Gatwick will be a boon for its business.

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