EasyJet and Jet2 purchase all Thomas Cook’s UK landing and takeoff slots

Nov 11, 2019

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Following the demise of U.K. travel giant Thomas Cook, low-cost rivals easyJet and Jet2 have bought all of the now-defunct carrier’s U.K. landing and takeoff slots.

Jet2 purchased all slots at Manchester (MAN), Birmingham (BHX) and Stansted (STN) airports for an undisclosed amount, while EasyJet focused on Gatwick (LGW) and Bristol (BRS) slots. It paid a total of £36 million for 12 summer and eight winter slot pairs at Gatwick and six summer and one winter slot pairs at Bristol.

Gatwick slot pairs are particularly valuable, as the single-runway airport operates at maximum capacity for much of the year. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Wizz Air reportedly all bid for these slots.

EasyJet has not yet announced how it plans to use the newly acquired slots — whether for increased services to existing destinations or new routes. The carrier is expected to announce its uses for the new slots during its full-year financial results announcement later this month.

The money raised by the sale of the former airline’s slot pairs will be used to pay creditors. Sunderland-based Hays Travel recently purchased Thomas Cook’s more than 500 retail stores, employing as many former Thomas Cook staff as possible.

Featured image by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy

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