British Airways has once again extended the transfer of many short haul routes from London Gatwick to Heathrow until at least Sunday 30 October 2022.
BA originally transferred all Gatwick short haul routes to Heathrow in March 2020. The airline had planned to restart short haul flights at Gatwick from the start of the summer 2022 travel season on Sunday 27 March. Talks with the pilots union BALPA to set up a new subsidiary company to operate these flights under the BA name broke down.
BA has now confirmed that many former Gatwick short haul routes will continue to operate at London Heathrow during the summer 2022 season. They will operate under their former Gatwick flight numbers, which are four digits long and begin with a 2.
These routes should include:
There are also some overlapping routes such as Corfu, Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife and Rhodes.
Some routes that had transferred to Heathrow are not showing as operating during the summer 2022 season. These do appear in BA’s online timetables but are not on sale. These include Alicante, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Cagliari, Mahon, Turin and Verona.
As ever in the current climate, schedules are subject to change at short notice. Affected passengers can check the status of their bookings using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com and should contact BA or their travel agent if necessary. Refunds may be offered on a discretionary basis to passengers who want to cancel their bookings.
What Happens Next At Gatwick?
The only short haul routes that will operate at London Gatwick are a daily flight to Glasgow.
To date, BA has been able to suspend flights without risk of forfeiting slots due to a blanket waiver of 80 / 20 “use it or lose it” slot rules. It is highly unlikely that there will be a slot waiver in place for the summer 2022 season.
BA said that it will now pursue “alternative uses” for its Gatwick slots. BA will have to either sell the slots or lease them to other airlines. BA could lease them to its IAG sister airlines such as Iberia and Vueling, but it is unlikely they would be able to use all the slots.
The fact that BA has transferred Gatwick routes to Heathrow suggests the airline is not looking at alternative plans such as a franchise partner to operate short haul flights at Gatwick. This is at least for the summer 2022 season.