British Airways hits back over ‘Gatwick failure’ jibes about its budget subsidiary

British Airways passengers flying quick haul from Gatwick ought to discover no distinction when a brand new, lower-cost subsidiary is in operation.

BA insists travellers will “continue to benefit from the same full standard of service that they currently receive”.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, BA has grounded all home and European flights from Gatwick.

Last week the airline confirmed it’s in talks with unions about an unbiased offshoot – resulting in hypothesis about the seemingly dimension and form of the operation.

Michael O’Leary, chief govt of Ryanair, dismissed the plan as “doomed to fail”. He mentioned that BA’s earlier makes an attempt at low-cost subsidiaries had failed, and questioned why its sister airways, Aer Lingus and Vueling, weren’t concerned.

Now British Airways has issued a remarkably sincere briefing – revealing that its Gatwick short-haul operation was unprofitable over the course of the final decade, even on the peak of flying in 2019.

The assertion reads: “Whilst many sectors have now returned to some form of normality, the pandemic continues to have a huge impact on aviation.

“Continuing travel restrictions mean that British Airways is not currently flying any short-haul flights from Gatwick and looking beyond this, we know the competitive environment will be even tougher than it was pre-pandemic.

“Whilst we want to restart flying short-haul from Gatwick, we will only do this if we have a competitive and sustainable operating cost base.”

It is known that the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) is broadly supportive, and is consulting its members on the plan.

Initially as much as 17 Airbus A320 plane could be primarily based at Gatwick, with plans to extend the fleet over the following three or 4 years.

Gatwick desires: British Airways verify in space at South Terminal, presently out of use

(Nick Morrish/British Airways)

The BA announcement makes clear: “From a customer experience perspective the new airline will be British Airways branded.

“Alongside this British Airways is in parallel running a process of evaluating alternatives for the London Gatwick slots.

“We believe that our proposals for an independent subsidiary will enable us to both maintain the British Airways customer experience and be competitive in this environment.”

Before the Covid disaster, BA was the second-largest airline at Gatwick – however a great distance behind easyJet, whose primary base is on the Sussex airport.

British Airways is presently sharing the North Terminal with easyJet and all different airways. The South Terminal, the place BA is often primarily based, is prone to stay closed till spring 2022 as a cost-saving measure.