Flybe accuses Gatwick of ignoring UK regions

Flybe accuses Gatwick of ignoring UK regions

Gatwick has been accused by the boss of Flybe of failing to address the needs of UK regions in its fight with rival Heathrow to win support for expansion.

The regional carrier’s chief executive, Saad Hammad, said that Heathrow had been “more specific about what they are going to do” on take-off and landing slots and on charges for domestic flights.

“I don’t think Gatwick has been as sensitive as we would like,” he told the Financial Times. “Right now, Heathrow has one up on Gatwick in terms of listening to regional needs and requirements.”

Heathrow has pledged to cut charges for regional flights as part of a regular review of fees, though no binding commitment has been made.

Flybe has no flights into Heathrow and just one from Gatwick to Newquay, having sold 25 pairs of slots to easyJet in 2013.

A Gatwick spokesman said that the airport had the “best” regional links of any London airport and would remain significantly cheaper than Heathrow, even domestic fees were reduced.

It is planning to set out its own proposals on how to improve fees further later this month.

“UK plc needs a network of long-haul airports that provide direct services around the world, rather than forcing all flights through a single-hub airport in the capital,” the Gatwick spokesman said.


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