Easyjet targets BA at Gatwick

15 Jun 2006 by business traveller

Budget airline Easyjet is targeting British Airways' business passengers at Gatwick by expanding routes and flight frequencies.

The changes take place next autumn and winter. They see Easyjet inaugurate a new three times a day service to Glasgow and increase the number of flights on key routes to give business people better schedules.The Glasgow service starts on October 2 with other cities gaining the extra flights from the start of the winter timetable later that month.

It means that the number of daily flights to Madrid will increase to four with Milan (Linate and Malpensa) now served up to five times a day. Other cities seeing extra flights are: Athens (11 a week) Amsterdam (five a day), Cologne (three a day) and Berlin Schonefeld (two a day).

Says Andy Harrison, Easyjet chief executive, "Easyjet has grown dramatically at Gatwick over the last few years. Gatwick is now our biggest single airport base."

Easyjet's move comes at a time when BA is contracting its operation there. Flights and routes are being dropped and on-board service cut back as the carrier seeks to reduce losses at the Sussex airport (see Online news, May 11) There is also the possibility that partner GB Airways (which flies under BA colours) will adopt the BA Connect budget formula at Gatwick just as it is about to do at Manchester (see Online news, June 7).

And the budget carrier offers a number of business-friendly services at Gatwick, although not all are free. For example, passengers can buy lounge access, they can check-in online, they can switch flights to an earlier departure and they can be the first to board the flight.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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