UK flag carrier British Airways is reportedly setting out plans to resume short-haul flights from London Gatwick through a new subsidiary which, as per the form, would offer competitive prices to take on its ‘no frills’ rivals, from March onwards.
The airline, which had suspended trips from the West Sussex airport last year due to the pandemic, has announced the sale of tickets for short-haul trips to Europe, at a fare of £39 ($51) each way.
BA’s plan for a new Gatwick subsidiary, called BA Euroflyer, had first come to light a few months back around August. However, the plan came across obstacles as the airline was seeking agreements with unions upon a blueprint that depended on its ability to operate on a lower cost base.
As per reports, BA has now entered a deal with the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) for the same.
Through the new BA subsidiary, flights to 35 European destinations will be available, which includes destinations such as Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, Santorini, Palma, Nice, and Tenerife.
BA has stated that the subsidiary, though operating under British Airways, will be a separate entity from the airline, similar to how its London City airport subsidiary, BA Cityflyer, operates.
Services, however, will be initially operated by the airline while a new air operators’ certificate will be issued for the subsidiary.
The flight will begin its operation from March-end, with 3 Airbus short-haul aircrafts, and will eventually expand to 18 planes by May end.
Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, calls the announcement a landmark moment, stating that the creation of a new short-haul organization would benefit flyers from Gatwick in accessing premium service from UK’s flag carrier at reasonable prices.
The new airline will offer fares that compete with other Gatwick no-frill carriers, such as easyJet, while still delivering the high level of service expected from British Airways, along with a ‘generous’ bag allowance, free water, and snacks.
Gatwick Airport CEO, Stewart Wingate, remarked that amidst the ongoing pandemic, BA’s announcements signifies a positive return in consumer confidence as people start to make travel plans for the coming summer.