BA to launch budget airline from Gatwick in March – with fares from £39 one way

BRITISH Airways has confirmed it will launch a short-haul subsidiary at Gatwick.

Some of the routes which were moved to Heathrow during the pandemic will return to Gatwick, and some will be maintained at Heathrow to give customers choice.

These include popular British tourist destinations, such as Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, Marrakech and Tenerife.

In addition, other new routes will be added at Gatwick including Athens, Berlin, Madrid, Milan Malpensa and Santorini.

Tickets to 35 short-haul destinations have gone on sale today and start from £39 each way.

The airline will operate under the British Airways name but will exist as an "entirely separate entity", the firm said.

It will start flying in March 2022.

The vast majority of British Airways' short-haul flights from the West Sussex airport have been suspended since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company previously said the flights were loss-making even before the virus crisis, and they would only restart if there was "a competitive and sustainable operating cost base".

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During the pandemic, several routes were moved to Heathrow airport.

The airline said it would only rebuild its European network from Gatwick, where easyJet is the biggest airline, if it could make it profitable.

Speaking about the launch of new fight routes from Gatwick, BA bosses said they are "sure it will be a success".

British Airways chief executive 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 service our customers from London's second hub airport, which we feel sure will be a success."

The announcement BA will be launching more flight routes comes just a week after the airline revealed it has slashed more than 2,000 flights until March, 2022.

The cutting of flights is down to a reduced demand for air travel thanks to the pandemic.

The decision has affected both domestic routes like London to Belfast and transcontinental flights like London to Cape Town.

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