Aug 26, 2021
British Airways plans new low-cost short-haul business at Gatwick
British Airways is planning to replace its short-haul operation at Gatwick airport with a new low-cost business, as passenger demand continues to suffer in the pandemic. Travel website Headforpoints.com reported on Thursday that BA had emailed staff to say that it was considering "a new operating subsidiary to run alongside our existing long-haul Gatwick operation" that would serve the airport from next summer. It added that the proposed new business would "Help us to be both agile and competitive, allowing us to build a sustainable short-haul presence at Gatwick over time". IAG's airlines, which also include Aer Lingus and Iberia, flew just 20 per cent of their normal flight schedules in the first quarter, causing revenue to fall 79 per cent, year on year, to €968m. The group has been hit especially hard compared with many of its main competitors in Europe owing to its heavy exposure to UK and transatlantic travel, with the UK government only last month reopening quarantine-free travel for double-vaccinated travellers from the US. BA this year moved all of its short-haul flights from Gatwick to Heathrow in response to low demand. Sean Doyle, BA's chief executive, last month said the company was "Adjusting [its] business model to anticipate what will be a lagging recovery in business".
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