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21st October 2009

Gatwick’s Biggest Domestic Airline Gives Cautious Welcome to Sale

Flybe calls on new owners to focus on core business of short-haul and European flights

Flybe, the biggest domestic carrier and third biggest slot-holder* at London Gatwick, today gave a cautious welcome to the airport’s sale to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for £1.51 billion.

Commenting on the deal, which was prompted by the UK Competition Commission’s ordering BAA to dispose of two of their London airports, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer Mike Rutter said:

“Flybe offers a cautious welcome to the sale of Gatwick and looks forward to working closely with the new owners. We carry more domestic passengers from Gatwick than any other airline and as such can speak with some knowledge on the crucial role the airport plays in connecting the UK regions to the capital.

“Over the years, the airport’s mission has changed and this sale represents a real opportunity for the new owners to strengthen Gatwick’s position as the champion of short-haul and European flying. GIP would be making a fatal mistake if they try and chase trophy airlines promising glamorous long-haul destinations. That’s not the future - Gatwick’s growth lies with efficient, environmentally sensitive, well-managed and stable airlines like Flybe”.

He concluded: “Everyone knows that BAA’s charges were some of the most expensive in the industry and Flybe looks forward to Gatwick shedding that reputation and engaging early with its major customers to create a sustainable, economically realistic future”.