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EasyJet eyeing BA's Gatwick slots - report

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Monday 13 Sep 2021

EasyJet eyeing BA's Gatwick slots - report

(Sharecast News) - EasyJet will considerably boost its presence at Gatwick should plans by British Airways to overhaul its short-haul offering flounder, according to reports.

The national carrier is seeking to change contracts and working conditions for short haul flights from Gatwick, London's second airport, as part of a move to improve the financial position of the operation.

But it has yet to secure an agreement with Unite, the union representing cabin and ground crew, and BA - owned by Anglo-Spanish International Consolidated Airlines Group - has warned it will stop short haul flights altogether from Gatwick if a deal cannot be struck.

BA's withdrawal from Gatwick would release numerous in-demand short haul slots, and the Telegraph reported that easyJet could use money raised through a planned £1.2bn rights issue to snap them up.

Any such move would consolidate the budget airline's position as Gatwick's biggest customer.

Neither BA nor EasyJet has commented on the report. However, when announcing the rights issue last Thursday, easyJet said it expected that "opportunities will arise at airports...as legacy airlines restructure short-haul operations".

EasyJet announced the rights issue after it rejected an unsolicited takeover approach from an unnamed bidder, widely understood to be Hungarian carrier Wizz Air.

The Telegraph's report comes amid a torrid day of trading for EasyJet. The stock fell last week following the announcement of the dilutive rights issue, and by 1130 BST on Monday it was off 14%. Shares in IAG were trading nearly 1% higher in London

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