British Airways may yet be relaunching short-haul flights from London Gatwick (LGW) in summer 2022 after fresh talks with the pilots’ union resulted in an agreement on pay and hours.
British Airways (BA) had announced on September 23, 2021, that it would be suspending short-haul operations from LGW after failing to agree on a plan to make its operations there more competitive. The airline wanted to set up a new low-cost unit so that it could challenge budget rivals on European routes.
However, talks restarted and the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) said on October 7, 2021, that it had reached an “important” new deal on revised pay and working hours for BA pilots operating short-haul flights from LGW.
“This agreement is now BA’s preferred option in relation to the future of short-haul operations at Gatwick,” BALPA Acting General Secretary, Martin Chalk, said in an emailed statement to AeroTime. “We understand BA is continuing its discussions with other stakeholders with a view to relaunching operations next summer. We expect BA to reach a final decision shortly.”
BA said it would further develop plans for a “full-service short-haul subsidiary operation at Gatwick, offering competitive fares to our customers.”
“We will continue discussions with our colleagues, trade unions, suppliers and other stakeholders, following this positive result, and if we can agree a way forward with all parties, we would hope to begin operations next summer.,” the carrier said in a statement.
UPDATED 10-07-2021 with comment from British Airways