No Gatwick Express or Southern Trains will operate from London Victoria to London Gatwick over the Easter holiday period from Good Friday 25 March to Easter Monday 28 March 2016.
This is because of engineering works taking place between London Victoria and Clapham Junction railway stations. Limited alternative Southern Trains services will be available from London Bridge station.
Thameslink services from Bedford and London St Pancras should still operate to Gatwick as normal.
Full details of engineering works taking place on the UK railway network over the Easter holiday period are available from Network Rail.
The Gatwick Express train service, which runs non-stop from London Victoria station to Gatwick airport, will be suspended for some 10 days from late Christmas Eve to Sunday 3 January.
This is a consequence of engineering work to replace a junction in the Purely area. This work also means that no trains will run between Croydon and Redhill.
Southern Trains will still run trains from London Victoria to Gatwick via Horsham. A bus to Gatwick will also be available at East Grinstead for passengers connecting from Southern Trains from London Victoria to East Grinstead. However, in both cases the journey time will take approximately 90 minutes.
Thameslink services from Bedford and London St Pancras will not call at Gatwick airport and will run as far south as East Croydon from where connections will be available to Southern train services East Grinstead for an onward bus connection to Gatwick. The journey time will be extended to approximately two hours.
No trains will run at all on Christmas Day and a very limited service will operate on Boxing Day.
Train services from Brighton and the South Coast to Gatwick are unaffected by the engineering work.
Separately, there is also substantial railway engineering work taking place in the London area as a consequence of the rebuilding of London Bridge station with no Southeastern railway services to or from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East or London Bridge and all services will be diverted to and from Victoria, Blackfriars and New Cross from late Christmas Eve to Sunday 3 January 2016.
In light of extended journey times and reduced services, we would strongly advise pursuing alternative options to reach Gatwick airport.
BA will benefit from an upgraded check-in area and a new lounge facility for eligible passengers. BA has confirmed that a new lounge for eligible customers will be constructed in the North terminal.
As BA’s London Gatwick operation involves approximately 60 departures a day, we expect the move will take place in phases.
Perhaps what is more significant are easyJet’s ambitions once it consolidates operations in one terminal.
easyJet currently has 45% of departure and arrival slots at Gatwick, compared to just 16% for BA. Ten years ago, BA had 30% of departure and arrival slots, and easyJet had 13%.
easyJet has made a number of moves in recent years to move it closer to the traditional full service carrier model, such as offering allocated seating and fast track ground facilities.
The one thing easyJet doesn’t do is interline with other airlines (this is where an airline will transfer your bag to another airline’s flight on a connecting ticket). Nor does it codeshare with other airlines. Nor does it offer connections.
Currently, a passenger wishing to fly from say, Edinburgh to Tel Aviv via Gatwick would have to “self-connect” and buy two separate tickets (and hope for the best if things go wrong!).
If easyJet was to move to a traditional “hub” model offering connections and codeshares with other airlines, this could radically change its position in the market and that of London Gatwick. There is certainly precedent for a low cost carrier to do this, as Vueling does at its hub in Barcelona.
This would of course add cost and complexity to easyJet’s operation (which it may be keen to avoid) but connecting traffic could support many more routes from Gatwick.
One other point of note is that Aer Lingus, currently a takeover target for BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, also operates in the South terminal and a consolidation of operations may allow for greater co-operation between BA and Aer Lingus at Gatwick.
On Monday 23 September 2013, the Financial Times featured an interesting story where the Chief Executive of London Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, postulated, known in politics and the press as “kite flying”, that if a second runway for Gatwick was approved, one of the “Big Three” airline alliances could be persuaded to defect from Heathrow airport.