British Airways to 'end short-haul Gatwick flights' next year – with new airline to take over

BRITISH Airways is expected to end their short haul routes from Gatwick Airport next year.

Instead, the airline is expected to launch a 'BA Lite' subsidiary to replace the flights, expected from spring 2022.

In a letter sent to staff, it explained that the plan is to continue using the same aircraft and airport slots from March 2022 with the new subsidiary, in time for the Easter school holidays.

The airline will still be operating their long-haul routes, and limited short-haul routes through winter.

According to analytics expert Cirium, British Airways originally operated 47 short-haul route from London Gatwick, although these were suspended back in spring 2020 due to the pandemic and are yet to resume.

The airline was predicted to be the second biggest airline at the airport behind easyJet next summer, with an estimated 1,881 flights – amounting to more than 330,000 passengers.

This is likely to affect passengers heading to Spain and Portugal, with the most flights to Malaga and Faro.

A BA spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: "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."

We went to Heathrow Airport to explain what Brits can expect when flying with the airline this summer.

This includes compulsory masks, 25-second Covid tests and queue jumping through the BA app.

BA isn't the only airline making changes to their flights post-pandemic – Ryanair is to stop all flights from both Belfast airports, it was announced earlier this week.

TUI has cancelled more holidays until November due to the pandemic.

And experts have warned Brits to expect hgue flight cacenllations this summer, even as travel resumes.

Swissport boss Warwick Brady, who operates baggage handling at airports across the UK, has warned that the amount of changes being announced at short notice are going to lead to more flights being cancelled.

He said: "Normally we get six months’ notice of what flight schedules are so we can plan the resources to service them. Now it can change in a day."

He explained that "cancellations will be inevitable" as they cannot keep up with schedule changes for airlines, many of which cancel flights if the country is added to the red list or even the amber list.

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