Gatwick airport has released more details regarding the airline terminal switches which will take place in late January.
The changes – which the airport says have been planned for two years – will see Easyjet consolidate its operations at the North Terminal, with British Airways moving to the South Terminal, and Virgin Atlantic switching to the North Terminal.
The switches will be staggered over a 72-hour period “in order to ensure a seamless transition”, and all three airlines will operate a reduced flying programme “to simplify the process”.
Around 50,000 passengers are scheduled to travel with the three airlines on 277 flights during the transitional period, and the airport has advised travellers to check their terminal before travelling.
From January 24 all Easyjet flights will depart from the North Terminal, while from January 25 BA services will depart from the South Terminal, and Virgin’s from the North Terminal.
Note though that there are a couple of exceptions – British Airways flight BA2273 to New York will depart from the South Terminal from January 11, and the carrier’s Naples service BA2612 will switch to the South Terminal from January 19.
The changes will also see facilities opened including “including state-of-the-art technology at check-in, security and immigration as well as new bag-drop zones along with new British Airways and Virgin Atlantic lounges”.
This week Virgin unveiled its news v-room lounge for Virgin Holidays customers, which will open on January 25.
Gatwick says that 37 operational trials have been carried out to ensure the airport’s readiness for the moves, which have “probed every part of the journey, from check-in to issuing boarding cards, to labelling baggage, passing through security with automated boarding card readers, right through to the airfield, with stand capability, fuelling and catering all being tested”.
The airport says that the construction programme will be 85 per cent complete when the airlines move, with the rest “deliberately scheduled for after the moves”.
Commenting on the project chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said:
“We are ready to deliver this major step in Gatwick’s strategic transformation programme. The moves have been meticulously planned for more than two years, with close attention given to ensuring that the airport operation and the experience of our passengers is not affected during the transition.
“Relocating the airlines allows greater efficiency and positions all three carriers for growth, which in turn drives Gatwick’s growth. For our passengers, investment at every step of their journey through the terminal will be hugely beneficial.”