Flybe announced (23-May-2013) plans to withdraw from UK's London Gatwick Airport due to "a 102% increase in airport charges to regional aircraft operators, Air Passenger Duty (APD) and a lack of aviation policy from the central government". Flybe said it will maintain all London Gatwick services from Belfast City, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Newcastle and Newquay until 29-Mar-2014. As part of the airline's plans, the airline sold its 25 arrival and departure slots at the airport to easyJet for GBP20 million. The slot acquisition by easyJet is subject to easyJet shareholder approval. Flybe has served London Gatwick for 22 years. Flybe said it will re-invest the funds generated from the sale of the slots in its remaining 159 routes. London Gatwick Airport said it was "disappointed" Flybe decided to sell its slots but said it remains "committed to supporting their operations here until they exit". Meanwhile Isle of Man Infrastructure Minister David Cretney said he was in contact with Flybe and easyJet to see what additional services they could operate in summer 2014. [more - original PR - Flybe] [more - original PR - easyJet] [more - original PR - London Gatwick Airport] [more - original PR - Isle of Man Government]
Flybe to withdraw from London Gatwick Airport
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Seat capacity on routes from Europe to Africa will grow the fastest, as the region recovers from a terrorism related drop in demand in North Africa. There will also be above trend growth in almost every other region from Europe (including intra Europe). The only exception is Europe-Middle East, where the newly cautious Gulf airlines' growth is slowing this summer.
On the North Atlantic, always important for the profitability of Europe's leading legacy airlines, growth will be faster than its 10 year trend, but it will at least be a little slower than in the past summer. The loss of market share from the immunised North Atlantic JVs to newer and smaller competitors, including LCCs, is set to continue. As ever, the OAG capacity data provide a window into the changing structure of the airline markets from Europe.
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Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos hopes to have an interline agreement in place with Ryanair before the end of 2017. Discussions between the two airlines have been taking place for many months, and both have publicly talked about the benefits of facilitating connecting passengers with a single ticket for a trip involving both airlines at airports where Norwegian operates long haul.
Mr Kjos told CNN Money on 1-Feb-2017 that he also envisaged an alliance formed of Europe's four leading independent LCCs: Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian and Wizz Air. There is mileage in pursuing bilateral interlining, focusing on connections between Norwegian's long haul and the other three's short/medium haul.
However, the case for intra-Europe connections among the four LCCs, let alone for something as developed as an alliance, is less clear.