British Airways announced today (Tuesday) it plans to launch a short-haul standalone business at Gatwick Airport in 2022, similar to the one operating in London City Airport under the BA name but as an entirely separate entity.
The new offshoot will offer short-haul services at Gatwick Airport, again operated by mainline British Airways until the Air Operators Certificate for the new entities is issued. The first BA short-haul flights will take off from Gatwick at the end of March, initially operating with three Airbus aircraft, and ramping up to 18 aircraft by the end of May.
The new subsidiary promises British Airways’ return to short-haul flying from the airport, suspended at the start of 2020 due to the pandemic. Several routes were moved to Heathrow, and some will now return to Gatwick, while still maintained at Heathrow, to give customers more choice. Among these are Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, Marrakech, and Tenerife.
Other new routes will also be added at Gatwick Airport, including Athens, Berlin, Madrid, Milan Malpensa, and Santorini.
British Airways will initially operate the new services. However, starting Autumn 2022, the short-haul flights will be managed separately under the company name BA Euroflyer, consistent with its sister subsidiary BA CityFlyer.
The brand name will remain British Airways. Customers can expect the same high level of service and enjoy all benefits of traveling with the UK’s flag carrier, including a generous baggage allowance, free water and snacks, free seat selection, and frequent flyer benefits such as lounge access.
According to Sean Doyle, Chairman & CEO, BA: “Today is a landmark moment for British Airways. The creation of a new British Airways short-haul organization 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.”
Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport, added: “This significant news will be very welcome for many people connected to the airport. 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, cafes, and bars are all looking forward to welcoming BA passengers back in larger numbers from April next year.”
Tickets for these short-haul flights go on sale today (Tuesday), and start from £39 one way, with fares competitive with Gatwick low-cost carriers. British Airways Holidays also offers several packages to these destinations, starting from £119. The airline will continue to prioritize flying to and from the most convenient destinations across Europe.