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September 24, 2021

British Airways drops plans for low-cost unit at Gatwick Airport

The plan was abandoned after it failed to receive support from the pilots’ union.

British Airways has reportedly dropped its previous plans for setting up a new low-cost unit at Gatwick Airport (LGW) in London, UK.

The decision was taken after the pilots refused to support the plan, reported The Guardian.

The airline suspended most of its operations from Gatwick at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, British Airways said that it intends to resume short-haul operations with a revised arrangement that would reduce its costs.

However, pilots’ union Balpa failed to secure the support of its members for the deal.

A British Airways spokesperson was quoted by the publication as saying: “We’re disappointed that our plans for a new short-haul subsidiary at Gatwick have not received Balpa’s support.

“After many years of losing money on European flights from the airport, we were clear that coming out of the pandemic, we needed a plan to make Gatwick profitable and competitive.”

The carrier said that now it will suspend short-haul services at Gatwick. However, domestic services connecting to its long-haul trips will continue.

Separately, Balpa’s acting general secretary Martin Chalk expressed his disappointment for failing to reach an agreement.

However, he added that the union is ready to work with British Airways to find an arrangement that would be acceptable to members.

British Airways, owned by International Airlines Group, is one of the largest UK based carriers.

Recently, the airline operated its first passenger flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) between Heathrow (LHR) and Glasgow Airport (GLA).

The trip resulted in 62% fewer carbon emissions compared to a similar journey in 2010.

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