Low-cost flights are now on sale for Faro Airport as part of a new Gatwick offshoot service scheduled to be launched by British Airways next March.
This week the airline announced that its planned short-haul standalone business at Gatwick would be similar to the operation from London City Airport, which operates under the British Airways name but exists as an entirely separate entity.
Flights are due to start operating at the end of March 2022, and tickets have now gone on sale to 35 short-haul destinations including Faro (flights to the Algarve gateway from 30 March), with the services initially provided by three Airbus short-haul aircraft before the fleet is expanded to up to 18 aircraft by the end of May.
According to British Airways, the short-haul services at Gatwick will be operated by mainline BA until the new entity’s Air Operators Certificate is issued. “The new services will be branded and known as British Airways. Customers will receive the same high level of service they expect of British Airways, as well as enjoying the benefits of travelling with the UK’s flag carrier including a generous baggage allowance, free water and snacks, free seat selection at -24 hours and frequent flyer benefits which include lounge access.”
The subsidiary will mark the airline’s return to short-haul flying from the London airport, which had been suspended in spring 2020 as a result of COVID-19. “During the pandemic, several routes were moved to Heathrow Airport, some of which will return to Gatwick, as well as being maintained at Heathrow to give customers choice, including Faro, Ibiza, Málaga, Marrakech and Tenerife. In addition, other new routes will be added at Gatwick including Athens, Berlin, Madrid, Milan Malpensa and Santorini.”
Announcing the new service, British Airways’ chairman and CEO Sean Doyle said, “Today is a landmark moment for British Airways. The creation of a new British Airways short-haul organisation means Gatwick customers will benefit from access to a premium service from the UK’s flag carrier at competitive prices. We are looking forward to bringing a short-haul network back to Gatwick, with a fantastic flying team in place, to serve our customers from London’s second hub airport, which we feel sure will be a success.”
Added Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate, “Despite the ongoing public health situation, today’s announcement is a positive signal that consumer confidence is returning as people start thinking about making travel plans for next summer.
“Given the difficult period we have all just been through, we expect BA’s new and extensive network of services from Gatwick to destinations across Europe to be in high demand and our staff, retailers, restaurants, cafés and bars are all looking forward to welcoming BA passengers back in larger numbers from April next year.”
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