Air­line poised to axe Gatwick link

Evening Express (City Final) - - News - BY DALE HASLAM

FLIGHTS link­ing the Gran­ite City with a Lon­don air­port have been axed, the Evening Ex­press can re­veal. Easy­Jet is cut­ting its route be­tween Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Air­port (AIA) and Gatwick – a move that has brought dis­ap­point­ment from AIA chiefs and an Aberdeen busi­ness fo­rum. There are cur­rently morn­ing and evening flights be­tween Gatwick and the Gran­ite City on Mon­days, Thurs­days, Fri­days and Sun­days and a morn­ing flight on other days – but they are to end on Fe­bru­ary 8. Easy­Jet blamed a “re­duc­tion on de­mand” and said ex­ist­ing book­ings are valid and flights re­main on sale un­til the route ends. The de­ci­sion means there will be less com­pe­ti­tion for pas­sen­gers seek­ing to visit the English cap­i­tal, which could drive up fares. How­ever, AIA bosses have as­sured cus­tomers they are look­ing to fill the sched­ule gap. An AIA spokesman said: “We are ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed at easy­Jet’s de­ci­sion to with­draw its Gatwick ser­vice. “While we do re­main well con­nected to Lon­don, with flights to Heathrow, Lon­don City and Lu­ton, we will, of course, be speak­ing to ex­ist­ing and other air­lines about the pos­si­bil­ity of strength­en­ing our links with Lon­don, which is an im­por­tant part of our route net­work.” An easy­Jet spokesman said: “After re­view­ing the route, easy­Jet can con­firm it will cease op­er­at­ing flights be­tween Aberdeen and Gatwick from Fe­bru­ary 8 2019 due to a re­duc­tion in de­mand. “We con­cen­trate our ef­forts on main­tain­ing and de­vel­op­ing routes which prove most pop­u­lar with pas­sen­gers. “Easy­Jet will con­tinue to op­er­ate flights from Aberdeen to Lu­ton.” Aberdeen and Grampian Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Rus­sell Borth­wick said: “While al­ter­na­tive ser­vices from Aberdeen to Lon­don are avail­able, this is still dis­ap­point­ing news. “The re­gional eco­nomic part­ners will con­tinue to work with AIA in en­sur­ing op­er­a­tors un­der­stand the strength of our lo­cal econ­omy and the value of con­nec­tiv­ity to and from the north-east.” One pas­sen­ger said: “This is a ma­jor de­vel­op­ment for the city as one of the pri­mary routes to the cap­i­tal pro­vid­ing over 130,000 seats per year each direc­tion.” British Air­ways was the last air­line to run a route be­tween Aberdeen and Gatwick and that ended in 2007. In Jan­uary, Lufthansa axed its Aberdeen to Frank­furt route, while the col­lapse of VLM in Septem­ber led to the An­twerp ser­vice stop­ping.

Easy­Jet said it is with­draw­ing the Aberdeen to Gatwick ser­vice due to a re­duc­tion in de­mand

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