British Airways to cut flights from Gatwick: Bounceback plan under new boss will shift focus to Heathrow – and ramp up luxury breaks to Barbados
BA to counter the drop in business travel by ramping up premium leisure flights
It will fly to Bermuda from Heathrow for the first time in three decades
The airline will shrink its Gatwick operations as part of a new strategy
Britain’s flag carrier has already cancelled all short-haul flights from the UK’s second-busiest airport until next March
British Airways will scale back its operations at Gatwick under a radical transformation plan to bounce back from the pandemic, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Sources said that new BA chief executive Sean Doyle will operate fewer flights from Gatwick once the airline emerges from the crisis.
BA will shift business to Heathrow, where it will counter the drop in business travel by ramping up premium leisure flights to long-haul holiday hotspots such as Bermuda and Barbados.
Making changes: Sources said that new BA chief executive Sean Doyle will operate fewer flights from Gatwick
British Airways has cancelled all its short-haul flights from Gatwick until March next year, leaving it with 12 long-haul routes from Britain’s second-biggest airport. Shrinking the airline’s Gatwick operations will form part of a wide-ranging new strategy under Doyle, who replaced Alex Cruz last week.
Doyle’s 22-year career at BA includes a job running the airline’s business unit at Gatwick. It is understood his immediate priority is to get travel moving again by working with the rest of the industry and governments in the UK and abroad to agree travel corridors and remove quarantine restrictions.
But his strategy for steering BA through the pandemic will also look at how to contend with a significant medium-term drop in revenues from lucrative trans-Atlantic and business travel.
It is thought that focusing more on a ‘premium leisure’ business model, primarily based at Heathrow, would allow BA to attract affluent holidaymakers willing to pay extra for the convenience of flying from West London.
The last Boeing 747 BA flight from Heathrow takes off