British Airways has recently announced its plans to launch a subsidiary low-cost carrier to European destinations. In a memorandum sent to BA employees, and first published by Head for Points, company CEO Sean Doyle outlined the carrier’s plans to launch a new subsidiary, which will operate alongside BA’s existing long-haul operations from Gatwick Airport.
“As you know, we haven’t been operating short-haul flights at Gatwick during the pandemic. This was previously a highly competitive market, but for us to run a sustainable airline in the current environment, we need a competitive operating model. Because of that, we are proposing a new operating subsidiary to run alongside our existing long-haul Gatwick operation, to serve short-haul routes to/from Gatwick from summer 2022. This will help us to be both agile and competitive, allowing us to build a sustainable short-haul presence at Gatwick over time,” said the letter signed by Doyle and his management team.
According to Head for Points, British Airways has confirmed the news with the following statement: “We are working with our unions on proposals for a short-haul operation at Gatwick. We are not prepared to comment further while this process continues.”
As intimated in the letter, the move is aimed to better compete with the two leading European low-cost carriers, Ryanair and EasyJet. These have bounced back rather well in the aftermath of the pandemic, as both cater mainly to leisure and short-haul travel, which are likely to recover faster than business travel, according to a CNN report.