British Airways delays return of short-haul flights from Gatwick until 2021
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.
British Airways has once again pushed back its plans for the return of short-haul flights at London’s second-largest airport. Initially, the British flag carrier said that it planned to resume some short-haul operations from London Gatwick (LGW) as of September. That was then delayed to November, and now it appears that the return of BA short-haul flights from Gatwick has been pushed back even further to March, according to RoutesOnline, which noticed the changes in this week’s schedule update by BA.
For the time being, BA will continue to operate all of its scheduled short-haul flights from its hub at Heathrow Terminal 5.
While the airline’s short-haul operations from Gatwick to mainly leisure destinations in Europe continues to be delayed, BA will continue to operate some long-haul flights from LGW. The airline has restarted flights to popular Caribbean destinations such as Antigua (ANU), Barbados (BGI), Bermuda (BDA), Kingston (KIN) and St Lucia (UVF) from LGW.
In the early stages of the pandemic, British Airways consolidated all of its Heathrow (Terminal 3 and 5), Gatwick and London City (LCY) flights to Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
As is the case with many airlines, the pandemic has taken its toll on British Airways. Since the start of the pandemic in March, the airline has had to take several drastic measures to survive the downturn in flying demand. Among the most hard-hitting, thousands of staff have spent months unsure whether they’ll still have a job, the airline decided that its famous 747s would all be retired and its most famous route of all, the coveted BA1 has been axed forever.
At the end of July, the airline reported a £3.8 billion first-half loss and spoke of very little demand for long-haul routes, while pointing to a gradual return of demand for domestic and short-haul routes. The coming winter months will bring a set of new challenges for the entire industry, not least British Airways, which continues to face an ever-changing battle of government-imposed quarantines that are likely to get more restrictive as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the U.K. and across Europe.
Additional reporting by Emily McNutt.
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