EASYJET yesterday talked up the importance of Gatwick as a UK transport asset, as the low-cost carrier launched its Moscow route from the airport.
The firm, which also began trading as a FTSE 100 component yesterday, won permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to run flights to the Russian capital in October, beating Virgin to the route.
“Operating this prestigious route from Gatwick is one of the reasons that the CAA awarded this route to EasyJet rather than Virgin,” said chief executive Carolyn McCall.
Gatwick commercial director Guy Stephenson added that the route highlighted the benefits of competing airports in the south east of England. “Choice and competition are things at the heart of Gatwick,” he said.
Burns declined to comment on his views about the future of the UK’s air links, saying he would await the results of the government-commissioned review by Sir Howard Davies, which is due to report its preliminary findings at the end of the year.