BA Pilots Vote In Favour Of New Gatwick Short Haul Airline

British Airways pilots have voted in favour of proposals to establish a new airline company to operate short haul flights at London Gatwick.

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British Airways Pilots pictured with the Red Arrows
British Airways Pilots (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways pilots have voted in favour of proposals for BA to establish a new airline company at London Gatwick to operate short haul flights.

Almost all BA short haul flights at Gatwick have been suspended since March 2020. BA had been in negotiations with the pilots union BALPA to establish a new airline company to operate short haul flights at the airport. BA’s parent company IAG had cited a need to be “flexible and competitive” at Gatwick.

The new airline company will operate under the BA name with a very similar on board service to short haul flights at present. It will have a lower cost base and a scheduled geared more towards summer seasonal flights with lower pay for pilots during the quieter winter months.

Talks between BA and BALPA broke down which prompted BA to publicly announce that it was suspending almost all short haul flights at the airport. Last week, almost all Gatwick short haul flights were moved to London Heathrow for the summer 2022 season. This left BA with almost no alternative but to lease or sell its Gatwick slots to rival airlines.

A revised proposal was agreed between BA and BALPA last Sunday. In a ballot held by BALPA, BA pilots have voted overwhelmingly in favour (82%) with a turnout of 75%.

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BA & BALPA Restart Talks On Gatwick Short Haul Flights

British Airways and BALPA have reopened talks to set up a new airline company at London Gatwick.

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British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

Thought you’d heard the last of negotiations between BA and BALPA to set up a new short haul airline company at Gatwick?

Not so.

It’s less than two weeks since talks between BA and BALPA broke down.

It’s less than one week since BA confirmed that just two routes from Gatwick to Glasgow and Manchester would operate in the summer 2022 season.

Former Gatwick short haul routes to mainland Europe have since been transferred to Heathrow for the summer 2022 season.

It has now emerged that talks between BA and BALPA have restarted. A new improved proposal from BA will be put to BALPA members for a ballot imminently.

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BA Transfers Gatwick Short Haul Flights To Heathrow For Summer 22

Former British Airways short haul routes at Gatwick will continue to operate at London Heathrow until at least October 2022.

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British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways has once again extended the transfer of almost all 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 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.

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British Airways To Set Up New Airline At Gatwick

BA plans to restart short haul flights at London Gatwick in March 2022 with a new subsidiary airline.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways has once again extended the suspension almost all short haul flights at London Gatwick airport. It plans to restart flights in March 2022, operated by a new subsidiary airline.

The vast majority of Gatwick short haul routes have transferred to London Heathrow for the winter 2021 season. This runs from Sunday 31 October 2021 to Saturday 26 March 2022.

The only short haul routes expected to operate at Gatwick over the winter season include Amsterdam, Glasgow and Manchester. The airline will continue to run a limited network of long haul flights at the airport. All BA flights at Gatwick continue to operate from the North Terminal.

This was expected as BA should be able to cancel flights at Gatwick over the winter season without forfeiting its airport slots.

This means the airline will go two years without operating a significant schedule of short haul flights at Gatwick.

Further changes to BA’s short haul route network and schedules from all UK airports are likely over the winter season. This is due to continued uncertainty over both COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the level of demand for business and leisure travel.

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BA Extends Gatwick Short Haul Cancellation To 31 October 2021

British Airways will not operate any short haul flights at London Gatwick Airport until Sunday 31 October 2021.

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British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways has extended the transfer of all London Gatwick short haul flights to London Heathrow Airport up to Saturday 30 October 2021.

BA transferred all Gatwick short haul routes to London Heathrow in April 2020. This was initially a temporary move. It has been extended many times. The last plan was for short haul flights to resume in July.

The latest extension in no doubt influenced by the UK government’s plans to reopen international travel, which means a near normal summer travel season without restrictions is looking less likely. It does not bode well for BA’s long term presence at Gatwick.

At present, BA is operating a limited number of long haul flights at Gatwick to Antigua, Cancun and St Lucia. A number of flights to Antigua and St Lucia are expected to operate at Heathrow in the summer. BA is also due to transfer flights to Accra, Doha and Islamabad to Gatwick on 31 October 2021.

At the time of publication the latest extension is not reflected in online timetables but these should be updated shortly.

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.

© Copyright London Air Travel 2021.

BA Extends Gatwick Short Haul Cancellations To June 2021

BA will not operate any short haul flights at Gatwick, except for Glasgow, until 30 June 2021 at the earliest.

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British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways has extended the transfer of most Gatwick short haul flights to London Heathrow until Wednesday 30 June 2021 at the earliest.

BA temporarily transferred all Gatwick short haul routes to London Heathrow in April last year.

This will continue until 30 June 2021, with the exception of flights to Glasgow which will start at Gatwick on Thursday 24 June 2021.

Another delay is not surprising given there is very little chance of travel restrictions in Europe being relaxed in the coming months. If restrictions continue throughout the summer and a waiver is issued which allows BA to cancel flights without forfeiting slots, it is likely to be extended.

At present, BA is operating a limited number of long haul flights at Gatwick to Antigua, Bermuda, Cancun and St Lucia.

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.

Update March 2021

BA has delayed the start of Manchester flights at Gatwick until Sunday 31 October 2021. Flights to Accra and Islamabad will also continue to operate at London Heathrow throughout the summer season.

© Copyright London Air Travel 2021.

British Airways Reinstates Gatwick – Manchester Connection

British Airways is to reinstate a connection between London Gatwick and Manchester from Sunday 28 March 2021.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

Gatwick Airport Runways
Gatwick Airport Runways (Image Credit: Gatwick Airport)

British Airways is to reinstate a connection between London Gatwick and Manchester after a hiatus of many years.

The route was suspended during a long process of “de-hubbing” BA’s operation at Gatwick with a focus on point-to-point traffic. It was a one of a number of domestic routes suspended at Gatwick including Aberdeen and Newcastle.

At present, timetables indicate that the route will operate once-daily. An early morning departure from Manchester will facilitate connections to long-haul flights at Gatwick.

BA is also transferring long-haul flights from London Heathrow Accra and to Gatwick from 28 March 2021.

More broadly, this does suggest that BA is intent on restoring its short-haul operation at Gatwick next summer and preserving its slot portfolio.

That said, as ever in the current environment everything is subject to change at short notice.

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British Airways Cancels Gatwick Short-Haul To July 2021

BA will not operate any short-haul flights at Gatwick until Wednesday 30 June 2021 at the earliest.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways has confirmed that it has suspended all short-haul flights at London Gatwick until Wednesday 30 June 2021 at the earliest.

BA will continue to operate many Gatwick short-haul flights at London Heathrow for the winter season.

This was expected as many Gatwick short-haul flights were showing as operating at Heathrow throughout the winter season. Following a relaxation of “use it or lose it” slot rules for the winter season, BA can cancel flights at Gatwick without forfeiting slots.

At present, there is little visibility on short-haul flight schedules. BA Gatwick routes expected to operate Heathrow throughout the winter include Alicante, Bordeaux, Gran Canaria, Grenoble, Jersey, Lanzarote, Malta, Naples, Porto, Salzburg, Tenerife, Turin and Verona.

These flights will retain their original Gatwick flight numbers which begin with a 2. This means they may show on some websites as having been diverted.

BA will continue to operate some long-haul flights at Gatwick. At present, BA is operating limited flights to Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Kingston and St Lucia. Many routes are expected to return in October, including Cancun, Providenciales and Punta Cana. BA will also launch a new route to Montego Bay in October.

British Airways Launches London Gatwick – Montego Bay

British Airways is to launch a new winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge, South Terminal, London Gatwick (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to launch a new winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Flights will operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 13 October 2020 until Easter 2021.

The route will be operated with a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

It may seem unusual for the airline to launch a new route at a time of significantly reduced demand. However, it’s worth recalling that after the 2008 financial crisis, BA pivoted towards long-haul leisure routes and added a number of destinations at Gatwick such as Male and Cancun. There may also be an element of subsidy for this route.

Virgin Atlantic previously flew to Montego Bay from Gatwick and is due to restart the route from London Heathrow on Friday 2 October 2020. This move by BA will obviously put competitive pressure on Virgin Atlantic.

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BA Transfers Gatwick Short-Haul Flights To Heathrow

British Airways will not operate any short-haul flights from Gatwick until early November 2020 at the earliest.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways short-haul flights at London Gatwick airport will remain suspended until early November 2020 at the earliest.

All BA flights at Gatwick have been suspended since April 2020. BA has transferred many short-haul routes from Gatwick. These include:

Alicante
Algiers (TBC)
Bari (from 1 August)
Bilbao
Bordeaux (from 1 August)
Cagliari
Catania (from 1 August)
Dubrovnik
Funchal 
Genoa (from 1 August)
Jersey
Kos 
Lanzarote (from 1 August)
Mahon, Menorca
Malta (from 3 August)
Naples
Paphos (from 1 August)
Porto
Salzburg (from 1 August)
Seville
Tenerife
Thessaloniki
Turin
Verona

Flights on overlapping routes such as Faro, Ibiza, Palma, Rhodes and Tenerife have also been transferred to Heathrow.

Some short-haul routes have not transferred to Heathrow. Flights to Gran Canaria and Milan Bergamo have been suspended until late October 2020. Flights from Gatwick to Antalya will not resume until summer 2021. Almeria has been permanently suspended.

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