easyJet to stop its Brussels – London Gatwick route


air-journal_easyJet new look2 At the end of March the low cost airline will stop its link between London Gatwick and Brussels, its only connection between the two capitals. Routes to Cologne and Düsseldorf will experience the same fate.

As of March 21, 2016, the British cheap flight specialist will no longer offer its five weekly flights by Airbus A319 between its  base in London-Gatwick (LGW) and Brussels Airport, a route launched in March 2014 with two daily flights. Until then, it continues to offer a flight every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, starting in LGW at 14:20 (arrival 16.30) and leaving Belgium at 17:00 (arrival 17:10), facing competition from British Airways and Brussels Airlines (both to/from Heathrow). At this time easyJett continues to serve the Belgian capital from Basel-Mulhouse, Berlin SXF, Bordeaux, Geneva, Milan MXP, Naples, Nice and Toulouse.

At the same date EasyJet will also cancel routes from Gatwick to Cologne-Bonn, its only route to the German airport: the four weekly rotations compete with those of Germanwings (to Heathrow and Stansted) and Ryanair (to Stansted). Same for Gatwick – Dusseldorf, again a single link where its four weekly flights are in competition with British Airways (to Heathrow and London City) and Eurowings (to Heathrow).

No explanation from easyJet for these cancellations, but one should remember that it was reinforced at Gatwick in 2014 after buying 25 pairs of slots held by Flybe. The investment of € 23.3 million at the time had helped it launch five new routes (Strasbourg, Paris-CDG, Brussels, Newcastle and Jersey) and strengthen another five (Bordeaux, Geneva, Amsterdam , Inverness and the Isle of Man). With an offer of 107 routes from Gatwick in spring 2014, easyJet would have been able to accommodate 1.3 million passengers per year – including 300,000 business travellers. Early last year, it announced that it would consolidate all its operations in the single North Terminal of the London airport by fall 2016. The A319s based there (57 at the time) will be replaced by higher capacity A320 – before the expected A320neo from 2017. EasyJet is by far the first airline in Gatwick, with 41% of flights operated the last year according to the airport website.