It is all kicking off at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) this month as the airport gears up for the busy Summer season ahead and in doing so has picked a large handful of new airlines. Greece’s Sky Express becomes the latest.
The latest to the join the list of new entrants to the airport is Greek low-cost airline Sky Express, which is making the move from London Heathrow to London’s second busiest airport.
The airline has confirmed that they will commence operations at LGW from the 1st of April, with the last Heathrow flight operating on the 31st March.
When the airline does move, flights will continue to operate daily and have a scheduled arrival time of 13:05pm at LGW and a scheduled departure time of 14:00 leaving LGW.
The airline currently deploys their Airbus A320neo aircraft on the route to Heathrow and this too will remain the same once the move is complete.
Heathrow is losing out
Sky Express isn’t the only carrier making the move to Gatwick; indeed, they join what seems like an ever growing list of new carriers at the airport.
Earlier in March, it was revealed that Air Mauritius is also moving from Heathrow to Gatwick.
Other airlines who are also joining Gatwick include Delta, Bamboo Airways, Air China and Saudia, but why is this?
More people are hearing of Heathrow’s high operating charges, although in todays climate, operating costs are higher than ever for airlines. Heathrow, like others, looks to continue regaining lost capital from the pandemic.
This cost factor is largely behind Air Mauritius, Bamboo and Sky Express’ move and even AeroItalia’s short lived flights to LHR last December.
As for the likes of Delta etc., these airlines already operate a significant number of flights to Heathrow per day. Coupled with the fact that winning a set of operating slots at Heathrow has a similar chance to winning the lottery, airlines are turning to London’s second airport to continue their expansion.
It is also not just Gatwick benefitting off of Heathrow. London Stansted too has seen Norwegian airline, Wideroe move flights to the airport.
Towards the end of last year (prior to the airline ceasing operations), Romanian low cost airline Blue Air was also close to moving to London Stansted.
Heathrow needs a change of focus
All in all, it isn’t looking good for Heathrow as it seems more and more airlines are considering moving or spreading out their operations to other London airports.
As far as the airport is concerned they will need a change of focus to entice more or now ex airlines back to the airport.
Simply put, the offering from Heathrow clearly isn’t good enough for airlines looking to fly their. Tie this with unreliability within the staffing side of the airport, thanks to continuous strikes and a general lack of staff overall.
Who knows, it may only be a matter of time before some of Heathrow’s longest airline partners start to move out, for example Virgin Atlantic may return to Gatwick, or other London airports could simply start picking up the unhappy airlines as we see now.