British Airways , a company of the IAG Group, wants to fly again from London Gatwick airport after the hit of the pandemic and, as it has communicated to its employees in a letter to which Bloomberg has had access , it is considering doing so through the creation of a new subsidiary dedicated to short-haul flights.
This communication comes just a week after Stewart Wingate, director of Gatwick airport , pointed out that airlines should “use or lose” their slots at the London facility.
The airline indicates in the internal communication that the restrictions derived from the pandemic force it to seek a “competitive operating model” that is already being worked on with the workers’ representatives. “We are working with our unions on proposals for a short-haul operation in Gatwick,” the note states.
It should be remembered that at the beginning of the crisis derived from Covid-19, British Airways suspended its short-haul flights from Gatwick and transferred them to its base at London’s Heathrow airport, from where it operates other connections. The creation of this new subsidiary, which must be approved by the unions, would imply a reduction in costs and the possibility of competing with other companies such as Ryanair or Easyjet on short-haul routes.
Pressure to use the ‘slots’
Just a week ago, the director of the Gatwick airport where this new IAG Group subsidiary would be based , urged the airlines to recover their operations to avoid losing the slots they have in the facility, pointing directly to British Airways for refuse to operate its take-off and landing strips during the summer season.
“If BA were to consider selling their slots, we know that there is demand from companies like easyJet , Wizz Air and others to remove the slots,” he said in an interview with The Mail.
During the first half of the year, Gatwick registered a net loss of 245 million pounds sterling – about 285 million euros – as the number of passengers fell to 569,000.