CEO of IAG, Willy Walsh said that BA would definitely be looking to obtain Monarch’s old slots at Gatwick, some 26 slot pairs.
They’re not the only ones, arch-competitor Norwegian is also eyeing the vacated slots.
Both want them for the same reasons, to keep the other out and grow their own long haul routes from the airport.
They’re certainly not alone, easyJet will be looking at them, so will some of the longer haul airlines from the Far East and SE Asia who find it impossible to get into Heathrow. Frankly I suspect Virgin Atlantic will want a share even if it’s just a few slots, with Airbus A350-1000’s in the longer term, and Gatwick orientation towards holiday rather than business travel, some route expansion options must be attractive.
Sooner or later IAG’s LEVEL will be moving into Gatwick, you can guarantee it, and they’re going to need slots to make it happen.
Theres a sizeable number of slots at Birmingham and Manchester up for grabs too, though those airports are much less service constricted. BHX suffers from excessively busy peak slots and ridiculously empty off-peak slots.
Somewhat cynically – nothing new for Willie Walsh, he welcomed Monarchs’s departure as a welcome capacity reduction.
Let me translate that for you: He means a welcome reduction in competition and one more airline out of their way. If it was about capacity, they wouldn’t want the slots Monarch vacated for new routes.