British Airways has restarted international short-haul flying from London Gatwick Airport (LGW), after the pandemic saw it halt services and shift some flights over to London Heathrow (LHR).
The return of short-haul BA flights on March 29, 2022 comes a day after LGW reopened its South Terminal thanks to returning travel demand.
BA’s first international short-haul flight from LGW departed for Larnaca (LCA), Cyprus, at 0625 local time (0525 UTC). The airline will initially operate flights under its British Airways AOC but plans to move the operations to a new subsidiary called BA Euroflyer later in the year.
British Airways suspended short-haul flights from LGW in spring 2020 as the COVID-19 virus spread across the world and grounded air traffic. It then entered talks with pilot representatives over a new subsidiary to make operations more cost-effective.
British Airways is flying to a range of European tourist destinations and cities from Gatwick, such as Tenerife, Palma, Marrakech, Amsterdam, Berlin and Faro.
British Airways has said that the new subsidiary will still offer the same level of services as regular BA flights, including baggage allowance, free water and snacks, and lounge access for frequent flyers. In contrast to low-cost rivals, the Euroflyer services will also have a business class cabin.
“Today marks a significant milestone for British Airways as we operate our first European services from Gatwick in two years,” commented Tom Stoddart, acting chief executive of British Airways Euroflyer. “I am looking forward in anticipation to see our newest subsidiary grow, adding new routes and providing customers with more options to get away on holiday with a premium British Airways service.”