May 7, 2020

London Gatwick under a cloud as carriers threaten to quit airport

The mood has darkened at the airport - located 30 miles south of London - in the past week. Virgin Atlantic, the sixth-largest airline by capacity, will abandon the airport it has used as its headquarters for the past 35 years and move what are primarily leisure routes to its operations at London Heathrow. Gatwick already has easyJet as the dominant carrier with Europe's second biggest budget airline accounting for 40 per cent share of capacity. The low-cost airline has built up its dominant position over almost two decades and John Grant of OAG said in terms of the pecking order of London's airports, Gatwick was in a good position. "It certainly reaffirms that London Heathrow has that number one position," he said, adding: "There is a 'waterfall' effect in the London market. Heathrow always has first place and then Gatwick and then Stansted or Luton."

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