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British Airways leases out 348 weekly slots at Gatwick Airport

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London Air Travel reports that Airport Co-ordination Limited, the company which oversees slot ownership at UK airport, has published the slot leases at London Gatwick that British Airways has put in place for Summer 2022.

We already knew that British Airways had agreed to lend slots to both easyJet and its sister airline Vueling, but we didn’t know how many.

BA British Airways Gatwick slot leases

It turns out that easyJet has received 230 weekly slots at Gatwick which gets you an average of 16 return flights per day. Vueling has received an additional 118 slots, enough for eight return flights per day.

This loan is only for the Summer season, which ends on 24th October. The slots will return to British Airways for Summer 2023.

Under the ’70/30′ rules in place this Summer, British Airways has to fly each slot it owns on 70% of days. If it fails to do this, the slot is permanently forfeited and will be given, for free, to another airline. Given its own restricted Gatwick schedule this Summer, the only way for BA to retain these slots is to let other airlines fly them.

The same rules apply at Heathrow. I know from discussions we have had with airlines recently that the 70/30 rule is proving to be a real issue. Many overseas airlines have no hope of using their slots for 70% of the time this Summer, and airlines are not queuing up to run Heathrow flights at short notice. If Loganair, Eastern or similar suddenly announce Heathrow services, it is likely that they are being paid to run flights to protect slots on behalf of another carrier.


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Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • SamG says:

    This means that Easyjet are back in the South terminal with some flights – EZY6400-6599

    Lots of BA LGW cancellations April/May it seems yesterday – looks like they’re potentially running behind in getting set up. Wonder if they’ll bring in wet lease capacity, though a lot of the usual Smartlynx / Titan has been snapped up already by Easyjet/Jet2/TUI

    • ChrisC says:

      Summer season is 7 months so roughly 30 weeks.

      30% of that is 9 weeks of non slot use.

      BA could front load that to the beginning of the season for some routes and still be in compliance with the rule but they won’t go right to the limit early in the season as it would remove any flexibility for later in the season.

      We will likely see some boxing and coxing of cancellations and reinstatements in the schedule. They need to consider the slot rules at the destination airport ( if any as not all airports are slot restricted)as well.

      So on a route like LGW – AMS where there are 3 flights on some days they could cancel Flight 1 for a couple of weeks then move to flight 2 and then flight 3 to manage plane availability and non use of the slot.

      • SamG says:

        Indeed, they’ve a little bit of room to play with April/May as they’d presumably prefer the schedule at full strength over the peak summer months anyway. Doubt they fly to many slot restricted EU airports (AMS being one of them but they could always send extra LCY flights if needs be there)

        • ChrisC says:

          People may be surprised at the number of slot restricted airports and where they are – and many are BA destinations and many seen as being merely for leisure.

        • Lady London says:

          I’m not sure.
          It would be less risky with Covid, for airlines to accept some front-loading of the early summer season if enough seats can be sold, just in case of bad Covid news washing out the peak season again.

          • ChrisC says:

            I’ve seen elsewhere that apparently BA are already cancelling ex LGW flights for April and May because of mix of a lack of aircraft and crew so even for the slots they have retained the 30% allowance is being used up early in the season.

    • Richie says:

      A list of the EZY South terminal flights would be useful.

      • Richie says:

        Just had a look at easyJet’s website, they have two flights from MPL-LGW on saturdays, both leave MPL at 21.45, they’ll have additional passenger management requirements at the gates.

  • Thywillbedone says:

    O/T: anyone having trouble booking partner redemption flights on Flights are showing as available (two leg, one way ticket back to LON). Getting this error message since yesterday morning:

    “Sorry, there’s a problem with booking this journey online. You can try selecting other flights or contact us so an agent can help you book the flights you have selected”

    • SamG says:

      Has been like it for years. Phone lines weren’t busy yesterday if you call in might get lucky!

      • john says:

        I tried multiple times and got kicked off and not even put in a queue as they were too busy!

        • ADS says:

          I phoned BA yesterday afternoon and got through straight away … the agent said that she hadn’t had a call for a few minutes, and couldn’t understand it!


      • Thywillbedone says:

        So, is it only single leg partner redemption flights that can be booked online? I have booked partner redemptions online previously albeit not multi-leg. Can’t even see how many Avios it costs but flights showing as available and bookable. Very poor if not possible. Not sure I could face calling them …

  • Peter says:

    Maybe we’ll see Ryanair at Heathrow!

    • ADS says:

      I’m sure MOL would love to fly a couple of DUB-LHR flights just to wind up BA/EI

      Or maybe a DUB-LHR-MAD-LHR-DUB routing to seriously wind up IAG !

  • Nick says:

    My BA 2-4-1 voucher expires end April 2022. I want to book for end of May. Do I still have option of quickly booking to say Edinburgh. Cancelling and then being able to use in May?

  • His Holyness says:

    Summer runs from 27MAR to 29OCT how come the UK is til 24OCT?

    How does the slot waiver work, either in the UK or the EU? Say LHR is my home base and I’ve got 6 slots at BER. The EU have said you can operate 64% between 27MAR and 29OCT therefore I can cancel 2 flights at BER?

    I’d need to balance the rule of 70% in LHR and 64% in the EU.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you’d need to operate at the higher level on that route to retain the slots at the other end.

  • PAL says:

    Hi All,
    Re fit to fly lateral flows for USA from UK – is it required to be observed eg video/zoom etc? (Travelling this Sat).

  • alex says:

    been on hold for 2 and a half days to BA executive club to change flights paid with avios for next week to a earlier date. can i just go to my local airport today, would they be able to change flights there?

    • AJA says:

      I don’t think so. I thought all flight bookings were now handled by the call centres so if you turn up at the airport all you will end up doing is standing there while you call them on your mobile phone.

      • His Holyness says:

        Fewer and fewer airports have ticketing as part of the cost cutting drive, if your flight is cancelled, you’ll be told to call BA by airport staff

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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