British Airways ‘landmark moment’ as airline creates short haul Gatwick line

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The major airline confirmed the news on December 14 with flights from the new short-haul line scheduled to start in March 2022. The company described it as a “landmark moment”.

BA said that the airline will operate under the British Airways name but will exist as an “entirely separate entity”.

The majority of British Airways short-haul flights from the West Sussex airport have been suspended since March 2020.

After the pandemic took hold in early 2020, the airline suspended some of its routes due to drop in demand and restrictions.

British Airways previously said the short-haul flights from Gatwick were loss-making even before the pandemic.

It had said they would only restart if there was “a competitive and sustainable operating cost base”.

Sean Doyle, BA CEO, said: “Today is a landmark moment for British Airways. The creation of a new British Airways short-haul organisation means 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 in place, to serve our customers from London’s second hub airport, which we feel sure will be a success.”

The new short-haul subsidiary will operate from Gatwick, which is the UK’s second busiest airport.

Doyle has previously said that he is planning to bring back British Airways ‘golden age’ by scrapping some cost cutting procedures.

The major airline had received criticism in recent years for becoming more like a budget airline.

Doyle said the airline would be bringing back free food for short-haul customers who would receive a small bottle of water and a snack.

It is unknown if passengers on the new subsidiary line will be entitled to the free snack and water.

Although the airline is bringing back some of its old procedures, customers will not be getting a free G&T on flights.

Doyle told The Telegraph: “We’re very happy with what we’re offering, so we’ve got no plans to change it.”

The airline had been accused of cutting legroom to fit more seats on its planes which Doyle said was necessary to offer lower prices.

He added that British Airways would be investing in staff training to bring “warmth” back to its customer service.

British tourists currently have to take a pre-departure Covid test before travelling back to the UK.

They must also take a PCR test on or before day two after arrival and isolate until receiving a negative result.

Britons must book their travel tests with a Government approved supplier which can be found on the UK Government website.

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