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Old 9th Oct 2023, 11:13
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
Atlantic Airways to resume flights to Vagar in the Faroe Islands in summer 2024
https://check-in.dk/kort-nyt/

I'm guessing Easyjet's route to Tel Aviv that was due to start later this month might be deferred a bit
The Faroe Islands have recently become that much popular and the destination has featured in many travel articles and YouTube channels.

But I'm surprised that this resumption didn't return to London Stansted over London Gatwick but nonetheless a nice addition to the Gatwick airline route portfolio.
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Old 9th Oct 2023, 11:27
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean
The Faroe Islands have recently become that much popular and the destination has featured in many travel articles and YouTube channels.

But I'm surprised that this resumption didn't return to London Stansted over London Gatwick but nonetheless a nice addition to the Gatwick airline route portfolio.
I always thought Stansted was used before because of zero slot availability pre-covid at Gatwick so not a surprise to me.
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Old 9th Oct 2023, 11:44
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Originally Posted by pabely
I always thought Stansted was used before because of zero slot availability pre-covid at Gatwick, so it's not a surprise to me.
Well, they previously operated Vagar to STN for several seasons, albeit on a very limited summer schedule.

Atlantic Airways initiated Vagar to London Stansted via Sumburgh in 2006. Vagar to London Stansted direct from 2008 until 2012. In 2013, Atlantic Airways initiated Vagar to London Gatwick for one season. Atlantic Airways returned to the Vagar to London Stansted route in 2014. Atlantic Airways didn't operate the route in 2015.

The resumption of Vagar to London Gatwick by Atlantic Airways means that it will be 11 years since they last operated to London Gatwick.

Atlantic Airways operated Vagar to STN for far longer than Vagar to LGW did. Hence why I'm surprised that they didn't resume STN over LGW.

But as I mentioned in my previous post, it's a great addition to the Gatwick airline and route portfolio.

Last edited by Sotonsean; 10th Oct 2023 at 01:06.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 18:43
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TAAG

Does anyone have any further information regarding TAAG Angola Airlines and their plans to inaugurate Luanda to London Gatwick.

TAAG announced a few months ago that they would commence service three times weekly in December 2023. There are no flights bookable on their official website or any news items related to London.

TAAG Angola Airlines has even been removed from the London Gatwick Wikipedia page.

It'll be a shame if TAAG Angola Airlines are not going ahead with their planned Luanda to London service.

On another note.

An article I've recently read on another aviation website mentions that Air Zimbabwe hopes to resume service between Harare and London Gatwick in January 2024, flying three times weekly with a Boeing 767-300.

Air Tanzania have previously stated that they also intend on resuming service between Dar Es Salaam and London Gatwick once the airline receives it's third Boeing 787-8. Air Tanzania hopes to receive their third Boeing 787-8 in Q2 2024.

That could possibly be upto three African national airline's joining the ever growing long haul airline network at London Gatwick.

Also on another note.

Regarding South African Airways. Do or more to the point did they previously lease their slots at London Heathrow?

South African Airways is yet to resume flights between Johannesburg and London Heathrow. The airline has only just recently resumed flying long haul with flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg and Sao Paulo.

If and when South African Airways announces a resumption of service between Johannesburg and London I wonder if the airlines previous slots at London Heathrow are still available to them. The airline has as most of you know, experienced a very turbulent few years and more.

"Perhaps" the cash strapped carrier "might" consider London Gatwick if they can't obtain the suitable slots for a return to London Heathrow.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 04:49
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Westjet's LGW-YYC service no longer seems to be bookable for S24.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Link Kilo
Westjet's LGW-YYC service no longer seems to be bookable for S24.
Nor is LHR from the end of June...either London is dropped or maybe rejigging to a new expanded LHR schedule?
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 16:31
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Originally Posted by Link Kilo
Westjet's LGW-YYC service no longer seems to be bookable for S24.
May fit with theory YYZ and YHZ are back on the cards and a reshuffle. Always knew focussing on YYC was not the way forward for WJ.
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Old 14th Nov 2023, 22:15
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Originally Posted by CabinCrewe
May fit with theory YYZ and YHZ are back on the cards and a reshuffle. Always knew focussing on YYC was not the way forward for WJ.
SeanM1997 on Twitter is reporting they are launching 4x weekly YHZ and 3x weekly YYT next summer, so they are not dropping LGW entirely.
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Old 17th Nov 2023, 17:19
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean
Does anyone have any further information regarding TAAG Angola Airlines and their plans to inaugurate Luanda to London Gatwick.

TAAG announced a few months ago that they would commence service three times weekly in December 2023. There are no flights bookable on their official website or any news items related to London.

TAAG Angola Airlines has even been removed from the London Gatwick Wikipedia page.

It'll be a shame if TAAG Angola Airlines are not going ahead with their planned Luanda to London service.

On another note.

An article I've recently read on another aviation website mentions that Air Zimbabwe hopes to resume service between Harare and London Gatwick in January 2024, flying three times weekly with a Boeing 767-300.

Air Tanzania have previously stated that they also intend on resuming service between Dar Es Salaam and London Gatwick once the airline receives it's third Boeing 787-8. Air Tanzania hopes to receive their third Boeing 787-8 in Q2 2024.

That could possibly be upto three African national airline's joining the ever growing long haul airline network at London Gatwick.

Also on another note.

Regarding South African Airways. Do or more to the point did they previously lease their slots at London Heathrow?

South African Airways is yet to resume flights between Johannesburg and London Heathrow. The airline has only just recently resumed flying long haul with flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg and Sao Paulo.

If and when South African Airways announces a resumption of service between Johannesburg and London I wonder if the airlines previous slots at London Heathrow are still available to them. The airline has as most of you know, experienced a very turbulent few years and more.

"Perhaps" the cash strapped carrier "might" consider London Gatwick if they can't obtain the suitable slots for a return to London Heathrow.
Regarding SAA, I'd say an entry into LGW is definitely possible. There have been examples of airlines in recent years who have had to sell their LHR slots for some £££s and relocate elsewhere in London. Cyprus Airways did just this when they left LHR and moved to STN in 2014, and Air Mauritius have done something similar recently by relocating the London route to LGW and increasing it to daily. So SAA may do something similar, but I'd reckon they will do everything they can to remain at LHR first prior to considering LGW as a last resort. Gatwick has admittedly done very well this year in diversifying its airline and route mix and the long haul airline composition is now looking a lot better than it did during Covid, similar to what we saw in 2019, so hopefully they can continue to attract new airlines here. Carriers at LGW pre-Covid in 2019 that are no longer here include:

China Airlines- Now at LHR, so doubtful they'd come back to Gatwick, unless they really needed to increase frequency and need access to additional London airport slots.

Cathay Pacific - Discussed previously in this thread. Looking ahead to 2024, and depending on the progress of their capacity recovery programme, I hope CX will be back operating at LGW next year. LHR has already begun reverting to the pre-pandemic 5 daily 77W operation, so hopefully LGW will be re-opened, as the route worked well alongside the airline's Heathrow operation up to the pandemic.

Norwegian (long haul) - Ceased operations during Norwegian's restructuring. Now largely replaced by Norse Atlantic.

RwandAir - Moved to LHR during the pandemic. Unlikely to see them back at Gatwick again.

Virgin Atlantic - Closed LGW in May 2020 to consolidate at LHR during the pandemic. CEO mentioned last November that connectivity seems to be a priority for them now, that LGW lacks, so a return to LGW seems unlikely in the near future sadly, although they could return if they needed to shift some of their leisure/beach routes to LGW in order to free up expansion at their main LHR base.

WestJet - Previously served LGW year-round, although will return to Gatwick with routes to Halifax and St John's with the 737-MAX in S24, albeit seasonally only.
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Old 17th Nov 2023, 18:35
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Virgin expansion at Heathrow is somewhat limited by their finite number of slots. In fact they rarely expand at Heathrow, as in the past they have tended to drop a route when introducing a new one!
Funny how they used to manage to fill several 747s a day from Gatwick without all the connectivity they now talk about at Heathrow. I expect quite a few passengers did 'connect' in a way to their flights from Gatwick
using other carriers such as easyjet.
With an expanding fleet and limited potential at Heathrow I suspect Gatwick will have to be revisited sometime in the future.
Even with all this connectivity at Heathrow they still find it difficult to be profitable.

I remain hopeful that Cathay will return as they recover to pre-covid levels of capacity.

As for Westjet, dropping Toronto from Gatwick was not the best of moves. Air Transat have reaped the benefits there. The BA summer seasonal to Vancouver was also successful and is returning in 2024 with a longer season.
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Old 17th Nov 2023, 21:59
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Originally Posted by vectisman
Virgin expansion at Heathrow is somewhat limited by their finite number of slots. In fact they rarely expand at Heathrow, as in the past they have tended to drop a route when introducing a new one!
Funny how they used to manage to fill several 747s a day from Gatwick without all the connectivity they now talk about at Heathrow. I expect quite a few passengers did 'connect' in a way to their flights from Gatwick
using other carriers such as easyjet.
With an expanding fleet and limited potential at Heathrow I suspect Gatwick will have to be revisited sometime in the future.
Even with all this connectivity at Heathrow they still find it difficult to be profitable.

I remain hopeful that Cathay will return as they recover to pre-covid levels of capacity.

As for Westjet, dropping Toronto from Gatwick was not the best of moves. Air Transat have reaped the benefits there. The BA summer seasonal to Vancouver was also successful and is returning in 2024 with a longer season.
I think VS made a big mistake leaving LGW, as BA have since expanded, Norse, and JetBlue have entered etc. Slots at LGW will become more difficult to secure as the airport continues to recover and expand on its airline portfolio. The most obvious thing for VS to do would be to relocate their Caribbean and Orlando routes back to Gatwick if they'd want to expand - but again, slot restrictions at Gatwick may prevent this from happening. VS had mentioned when leaving LGW in May 2020 that they would be retaining their slots at Gatwick for a return in the future, but much has changed since then, and I'm not even sure VS have ownership of any slots at LGW anymore? I also agree with the comments RE. connectivity- VS maintained and managed a large base at LGW since its inception in 1984 right through to 2020 perfectly fine, specifically with their point-to-point leisure/beach flights, so unsure how excess connectivity at LHR is benefitting VS in practice on these holiday routes in terms of profit. Either way, they need to make a decision on Gatwick soon if they are serious about expanding again.

Regarding Cathay- I hope so I miss seeing their A359 at the South Terminal. With the withdrawal of VS from HKG, and the fact that BA have reduced capacity to HKG than pre-covid, I would have thought that Cathay will seek to add additional London capacity going forward. LHR is full, and CX is unable to acquire additional slots there, so I reckon this will incentivise them to look at reopening LGW next year. I remember speaking with the CX ground teams in LGW about how well the route was doing, and they mentioned it had become one of the stronger, new "thinner" routes.





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Old 17th Nov 2023, 22:47
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Originally Posted by JW95
I think VS made a big mistake leaving LGW, as BA have since expanded, Norse, and JetBlue have entered etc. Slots at LGW will become more difficult to secure as the airport continues to recover and expand on its airline portfolio. The most obvious thing for VS to do would be to relocate their Caribbean and Orlando routes back to Gatwick if they'd want to expand - but again, slot restrictions at Gatwick may prevent this from happening. VS had mentioned when leaving LGW in May 2020 that they would be retaining their slots at Gatwick for a return in the future, but much has changed since then, and I'm not even sure VS have ownership of any slots at LGW anymore? I also agree with the comments RE. connectivity- VS maintained and managed a large base at LGW since its inception in 1984 right through to 2020 perfectly fine, specifically with their point-to-point leisure/beach flights, so unsure how excess connectivity at LHR is benefitting VS in practice on these holiday routes in terms of profit. Either way, they need to make a decision on Gatwick soon if they are serious about expanding again
In 2020 while Covid was raging and airlines were haemorraghing money... a lot of difficult and major decisions had to be made very quickly. People had ample reason to be very pessimistic about the future of aviation at the time. It has taken a long time for long-haul demand, and particularly business travel, to recover. Virgin can be thankful they are still around and in reasonably good financial health.
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Old 17th Nov 2023, 23:35
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JW95

As much as I admire your enthusiasm and we seem to agree on many topics but I have to admit that I am not as pessimistic as you are regarding the return of Virgin Atlantic to London Gatwick

I honestly can't see it happening.

I'm also not as pessimistic as you regarding the subsequent return of Cathay Pacific to London Gatwick.

Hong Kong as a destination both for business and leisure has diminished a lot over the last few years and not all of it due to the pandemic.

Cathay Pacific obviously wanted to return to pre-pandemic levels at London Heathrow with five daily flights. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the airline will return anytime soon to London Gatwick. I'm sure that Cathay Pacific could or would obtain additional slots at London Heathrow if they really wanted to add an additional daily flight.

Cathay Pacific resumed flying between Hong Kong and London Gatwick on 02 September 2016 after a 25-year absence. It was, as you say, a slim long haul route that was operating with some success.

But a lot has changed between London and Hong Kong in recent years, and I'm certain that the current five daily flights offered by Cathay Pacific from London Heathrow are sufficient enough for the airline.

With British Airways reducing capacity between London Heathrow and Hong Kong, this gives you an idea of how the demand for the route has declined. Especially compared to several years ago, and that's disregarding the pandemic.

I know that the Cathay Pacific A350 looked lovely at the South Terminal, and I'm sure that you have the memories, but they remain as such. Memories are always there, plus images, of course.

Regarding memories, I still vividly remember the day that I was on the observation deck at London Gatwick on Friday, the 18th of July 1980. On that day Boeing 747-200 VR-HIA operating CX201, the inaugural flight from Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport via Bahrain landed at London Gatwick.

On a side note, it's a shame to see the recent decline in traffic between London and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong as the destination is without doubt in my top three favourite worldwide cities.

Edit....the use of pessimistic should, of course, be meant to have been optimistic, silly error on my behalf.

Last edited by Sotonsean; 18th Nov 2023 at 19:59.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 07:28
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Sotonsean don’t you mean you are not as ‘optimistic’ rather than ‘ pessimistic ‘?
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 10:20
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean
JW95

As much as I admire your enthusiasm and we seem to agree on many topics but I have to admit that I am not as pessimistic as you are regarding the return of Virgin Atlantic to London Gatwick

I honestly can't see it happening.

I'm also not as pessimistic as you regarding the subsequent return of Cathay Pacific to London Gatwick.

Hong Kong as a destination both for business and leisure has diminished a lot over the last few years and not all of it due to the pandemic.

Cathay Pacific obviously wanted to return to pre-pandemic levels at London Heathrow with five daily flights. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the airline will return anytime soon to London Gatwick. I'm sure that Cathay Pacific could or would obtain additional slots at London Heathrow if they really wanted to add an additional daily flight.

Cathay Pacific resumed flying between Hong Kong and London Gatwick on 02 September 2016 after a 25-year absence. It was, as you say, a slim long haul route that was operating with some success.

But a lot has changed between London and Hong Kong in recent years, and I'm certain that the current five daily flights offered by Cathay Pacific from London Heathrow are sufficient enough for the airline.

With British Airways reducing capacity between London Heathrow and Hong Kong, this gives you an idea of how the demand for the route has declined. Especially compared to several years ago, and that's disregarding the pandemic.

I know that the Cathay Pacific A350 looked lovely at the South Terminal, and I'm sure that you have the memories, but they remain as such. Memories are always there plus images of course.

Regarding memories, I still vividly remember the day that I was on the observation deck at London Gatwick on Friday 18th of July 1980. On that day Boeing 747-200 VR-HIA operating CX201 the inaugural flight from Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport via Bahrain landed at London Gatwick.

On a side note it's a shame to see the recent decline in traffic between London and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong as the destination is without doubt in my top three favourite worldwide cities.
Sotonsean, we absolutely do, and I always enjoy and appreciate seeing your posts and insights on this and other threads

With regard to what has been happening at London Gatwick this year- 2023 has been a good one as far as new airlines and pre-Covid resumptions are concerned, and things have happened that no one expected. For instance, Air India was a surprise to many of us, as was Air Mauritius moving from LHR and China Southern joining Gatwick from next month. I doubt people saw these coming. Stranger things have happened and do happen, so I wouldn't entirely rule out seeing Cathay Pacific back at Gatwick again. However, much of this is going to depend on the recovery of the LON-HKG market as well as CX's prioritisation of route resumptions going into 2024. Only time will tell of course, but hopefully 2024 will build on the success of this year for Gatwick.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 16:29
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Originally Posted by vectisman
Sotonsean don’t you mean you are not as ‘optimistic’ rather than ‘ pessimistic ‘?
Many thanks for the correction.

It was a silly grammatical mistake on my behalf, but if you look at the time it was posted, it might explain the reason why, although no excuses.

At least I got the "mistic" part 👍
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 16:58
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Originally Posted by JW95
Sotonsean, we absolutely do, and I always enjoy and appreciate seeing your posts and insights on this and other threads

With regard to what has been happening at London Gatwick this year- 2023 has been a good one as far as new airlines and pre-Covid resumptions are concerned, and things have happened that no one expected. For instance, Air India was a surprise to many of us, as was Air Mauritius moving from LHR and China Southern joining Gatwick from next month. I doubt people saw these coming. Stranger things have happened and do happen, so I wouldn't entirely rule out seeing Cathay Pacific back at Gatwick again. However, much of this is going to depend on the recovery of the LON-HKG market as well as CX's prioritisation of route resumptions going into 2024. Only time will tell of course, but hopefully 2024 will build on the success of this year for Gatwick.
I appreciate your first paragraph and the comments and I totally agree with you. I too always appreciate seeing your posts and engaging with you. There's been a lot of good news to discuss about on here in 2023 regarding London Gatwick as you have rightly pointed out in your post.

Regarding new or resumption of airlines at London Gatwick in 2023.

Out of all those airlines starting service to London Gatwick in 2023 there is one particular airline that shocked us the most. That airline was in my opinion Saudia. Having never previously used LGW it came as a huge surprise when they first announced Jeddah to London Gatwick.

Most if not all of the other airline announcements for London Gatwick in 2024 we're either service resumptions or new short haul entrants.

Service resumptions in one way or another for the following airlines such as,

Air Algérie
Air China
Air India
Air Mauritius
Atlantic Airways
China Eastern
Delta
Ethiopian Airlines
Lufthansa

Hopefully TAAG Angola Airlines are still intending on starting Luanda to London Gatwick in December as originally planned. But I have a feeling that this has either been cancelled or delayed by the airline.

I do however agree with you to some extent regarding Cathay Pacific so I won't elaborate any further on the subject.

Hopefully 2024 will be another bumper year for London Gatwick with even more airline announcements particulary regarding long haul.

Best regards 👍

Last edited by Sotonsean; 18th Nov 2023 at 18:00.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 18:38
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Not sure about Virgin needing to be at Gatwick to grow. Looking at average movements per week from pre COVID peak to this summer :

LGW N 2019S 31 2023S 0 -31 -100.0%
LHR T3 2019S 174 2023S 215 +41 +23.6%
MAN T2 2019S 35 2023S 27 -08 -22.9%



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Old 18th Nov 2023, 20:12
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot
Not sure about Virgin needing to be at Gatwick to grow. Looking at average movements per week from pre COVID peak to this summer :

LGW N 2019S 31 2023S 0 -31 -100.0%
LHR T3 2019S 174 2023S 215 +41 +23.6%
MAN T2 2019S 35 2023S 27 -08 -22.9%
Very interesting comparisons, I'm pleased that you posted it. I'm totally with you regarding Virgin not needing Gatwick to grow especially after looking at those statistics. I'm sure your agree with me when say that I can't honestly see Virgin reappearing at Gatwick. No lounge, no staff, no hangar, no slots (more than likely), no gate availability, and last but not least, no need to. 😉

The only connection Virgin will probably have with Gatwick in the future is the training centre. But then again that could easily be relocated at some point closer to Heathrow.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 21:29
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean
Very interesting comparisons, I'm pleased that you posted it. I'm totally with you regarding Virgin not needing Gatwick to grow especially after looking at those statistics. I'm sure your agree with me when say that I can't honestly see Virgin reappearing at Gatwick. No lounge, no staff, no hangar, no slots (more than likely), no gate availability, and last but not least, no need to. 😉

The only connection Virgin will probably have with Gatwick in the future is the training centre. But then again that could easily be relocated at some point closer to Heathrow.
I think you're spot on with this Sotonsean. Sadly I think we will need to accept that VS' time at LGW has happened and is now in the past As you point out, there is no longer any "VS infrastructure" here at Gatwick that they could readily use, with all signs of their former base now having been removed (the ClubHouse being one example). A shame given Virgin Atlantic's long history with London Gatwick, the original home base of the airline. However, whilst we may never see VS return to Gatwick, I do agree with you wholeheartedly that LGW's best days lie ahead of it, and that includes new carriers coming to the airport in years ahead, as well as further expansion from existing airlines. For instance, I am sure that BA will increase their long haul programme as further 777s make their way to LGW from LHR. Further long haul may also come from carriers in Asia and the Middle East.
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