British Airways announces routes for its new short-haul subsidiary.

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British Airways (BA) on Tuesday unveiled the initial destinations for its new Gatwick subsidiary, which will begin flying from March 2022. Tickets to 35 short-haul destinations will also be on sale from Tuesday, December 14.

The airline announced in August its intention to create a standalone short-haul business at Gatwick, similar to its London City Airport operation, which operates under the British Airways name but exists as a wholly separate entity.

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The subsidiary will be launched by the end of 2022, and short-haul services at Gatwick will be operated by mainline BA until the new entity’s air operator’s certificate is issued. Short-haul flights will begin operating with three Airbus aircraft initially, increasing to 18 aircraft by the end of May.

The subsidiary will announce the airline’s return to short-haul flights from London Airport, which had been suspended as a result of Covid-19 in the spring of 2020. During the pandemic, a number of routes were moved to Heathrow Airport, some of which will return to Gatwick, as well as remaining at Heathrow to give customers choice, 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.

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Tickets, which will go on sale on the airline’s website from today, are priced from £39 each way, with fares competing with Gatwick’s low-cost carriers.

“Today is a historic moment for British Airways. The creation of a new British Airways short-haul organization means that 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, to serve our customers from London’s second hub airport, which we are sure will be a success,” said Sean Doyle, chairman and chief executive officer of British Airways.

The airline has already launched a major recruitment drive to invite people interested in roles that will help the company launch the new subsidiary. Potential candidates can visit the British Airways job site, where new positions are being added weekly.

Photo: Anna Zvereva/Wikimedia

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