British Airways considering pulling out of Gatwick Airport
British Airways considers abandoning London Gatwick.
British Airways is looking into whether to consolidate its operation at Heathrow, potentially dealing a devastating blow to Gatwick Airport.
The British flag carrier has used Gatwick airport as a second base in London mostly for short-haul flights and leisure destinations.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, BA has been heavily hit by the collapse of international travel demand and is at risk of losing its precious unused slots at Heathrow.
The company is now exploring ways to prevent losing these slots once temporary waivers are lifted.
Currently, normal rules governing slots, which require airlines to use 80 per cent of their allocation or lose them, have been suspended.
“Gatwick is an important decision that we need to take as a group,” Luis Gallego, chief executive of IAG, told analysts last month.
“It’s true that we have the issue with the slots. Gatwick has some strategic value, but we need to be competitive there. This crisis is going to change the profile of the demand. So we are analyzing the different options.”
Gatwick has reportedly been the most affected airport in Europe due to Covid-19.
When comparing the percentage of daily arrivals and departures in June 2021 compared to 2019, Gatwick has seen a 92% decline.
Virgin Atlantic has already pulled out of Gatwick Airport due to the pandemic, as has Norwegian.