Flybe quits Gatwick airport as easyJet picks up slots

(Source: Reuters)

*Flybe will quit London airport

Airline Flybe has said that it will be withdrawing from Gatwick airport, resulting in the loss of 590 jobs, or 22 per cent of its UK workforce. In January the company said that only 300 jobs would go as part of a cost-cutting plan.

Flybe chief executive and chairman Jim French:

No business can swallow cost increases of more than 100 percent over five years and Flybe simply cannot bear such punitive rises.

easyJet has announced an agreement with Flybe to acquire 25 pairs of arrival and departure slots at Gatwick airport for a total of £20m (release). The acquisition is subject to Flybe shareholder approval.

If successful, the slots will transfer from summer 2014 and allow easyJet to provide additional frequencies on existing routes as well as adding new destinations across the UK and Europe.