BA sells GB franchise to Easyjet (CORRECTION)

British Airways is to sell its GB Airways franchise to Easyjet for just over £100 million.

The news means Easyjet will soon account for just under a quarter of all slots at London Gatwick (GB’s main hub). It also sees BA ending its final UK franchise agreement, with  Scottish regional carrier Loganair also terminating its franchise (although a codeshare will remain in place until October 25, 2008) and Bmi’s takeover of Bmed becoming official at the weekend.

The purchase of GB Airways will see Easyjet operate 28 of its routes from Gatwick, as well as another six from Manchester. GB also owns four daily Heathrow slots, although these will not transfer to Easyjet.

Commenting on the news British Airways CEO Willie Walsh said: “UK franchises have outlived their purpose. Easyjet has made an offer to buy GB Airways and this has enabled us to end the franchise agreement early.”

It is thought that GB’s interest in moving towards a more low-cost model, with paid for catering, was partly behind BA’s decision to exit the franchise. GB currently operates routes out of Gatwick to destinations such as Gibraltar, Malta, Corfu and Nantes, as well as several routes already served by Easyjet from Gatwick including Faro, Innsbruck and Marrakech, suggesting that there will be some rescheduling of services once Easyjet formally takes over.

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Report by Mark Caswell

Correction: As stated below by one of our readers, GB Airways has in fact been sold to Easyjet by The Bland Group, resulting in the termination of BA’s franchise with GB.

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  • The headline is wrong!
    BA are not selling anything. The Bland Group (who own GB Airways) are selling the airline to easyJet.
    BA’s franchise with GB Airways (which might well have gone at the renewal date for the franchise) is being withdrawn with the sale.

  • The take-over of GB Airways to Easyjet is disastrous for anyone travelling from any airport (other than London) in Britain. Travelling from Glasgow by British Airways to Faro, Bordeau, Spain and all other airports used by GB it was easy to check in your baggage at Glasgow direct to Faro etc. and not have the bother of collecting cases at Gatwick. In future we will have to collect the cases at Gatwick and then join another queue to book in for the onward flight making it a far longer travelling time and much much more inconvenient. I have nothing against Easyjet having used them to Luton and Stanstead, and I know they have flights from Glasgow,it is this new problem of the inconvenience that worries me especially when I am well over the retirement age.

  • Agree the sale of GB to Easyjet is NOT good news for those who live and travel from outside the London area. This year I have taken flights EDI/LGW/LPA & EDI/LGW/MLA, with 2 more EDI/LGW/LPA trips to follow, the last being at Easter 2008. Although the same trips would be possible with Easyjet, its a complete non – starter due to lack of through check-in, baggage transfers and ‘protection’ of connections.
    P.S. The Loganair BA franchise continues to October 2008, with Code share from next year. (info from the Loganair web site)

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