Budget airline Easyjet is planning to operate a new service from Jersey to Gatwick when Flybe pulls out of the route next year.
Flybe is set to end its services from Gatwick starting March 29, 2014, after agreeing to sell its 25 slots at Gatwick airport to Easyjet. Flybe had attributed the ‘regrettable’ decision to a 102 percent rise in airport charges, air passenger duty and the lack of aviation policy.
Presently Easyjet operates from Jersey to Liverpool, Glasgow and London Southend, as well as a summer service to Newcastle. It will run three daily return flights, one fewer than the service Flybe offers. The service, which will be operated by the 156-seater Airbus A319, is due to run from March 30, 2014, with tickets on sale from next month.
Ali Gayward, UK commercial manager for Easyjet, said that the schedule allowed business travellers to fly in and out on the same day. Additionally, some low-cost seats will be introduced in a bid to boost tourism.
Jersey senator and economic development minister, Alan Maclean, said: ‘The airline has the capability of delivering in excess of a quarter of a million passengers per year on the Gatwick route alone, which will be of great benefit to the vitally important tourism and business economy.’
In July, British Airways said that it would add an extra weekday flight between Jersey and London Gatwick following Flybe’s decision to withdraw services from the route. The extra flight means BA will offer six flights on weekdays.
After selling its slots to Easyjet, Flybe said that it would continue to operate all of its seven domestic routes as normal, including its 34 flights a week from Guernsey, until March 29, 2014, with no changes to pricing, frequency or timings.