British Airways axes Gatwick flights

British Airways is suspending all flights out of Gatwick airport, becoming the latest carrier to stop serving the UK’s second-busiest airport due to collapsing demand.

The airline will keep equipment needed for essential functions at the airport such as maintenance, towing and cleaning so that it can restart operations quickly when the global lockdowns lift.

A British Airways spokesman said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick. We are contacting affected customers to discuss their options.”

Just 33 flights were due to take off or land at the West Sussex airport on Tuesday, according to data firm FlightStats.

EasyJet, whose biggest base is at Gatwick, has grounded its entire fleet and budget long-haul operator Norwegian has also axed many flights.   

Gatwick’s runway will only be open for scheduled flights between 2pm and 10pm from Wednesday, and one of its two terminals will be closed.

The measures will be in place for at least a month.

Airports are responding to the decision by carriers to suspend most flights due to a collapse in demand as countries around the world introducing travel restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

London City airport closed its runway to all commercial and private flights last week, while Southend is only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between 4.30pm and 9.30pm.