24-May-2013 8:45 AM

Flybe to withdraw from London Gatwick Airport

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]

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