British Airways will start operating short-haul flights from the UK’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) to 35 destinations from March next year through a new subsidiary.

Called BA Euroflyer, the subsidiary will be a separate entity though working under the British Airways brand, similar to BA CityFlyer that operates out of London City Airport (LCY).

Initially, British Airways will run three Airbus short-haul aircraft, with plans to expand the count to up to 18 aircraft by the end of May 2022.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “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.”

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Vinci Airports expects the move to benefit passengers as they will have access to more new destinations with a ‘premium service at competitive prices.’

Until an Air Operators Certificate is issued, the new services will be branded as British Airways.

British Airways chairman and CEO 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 serve our customers from London’s second hub airport, which we feel sure will be a success.”