British Airways: Airline grounds all flights from Gatwick Airport – latest news

British Airways made the announcement to staff on Monday via email with the airline’s Gatwick managing director Adam Carson telling workers they can “expect to hear more soon” about potential job losses. Mr Carson said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick. “I know you will have concerns and questions about what this means for you.

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“I appreciate there is a desire for more detail about jobs and you should expect to hear more soon.”

A British Airways spokesperson said in a statement: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick.

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“We are contacting affected customers to discuss their options.”

However, the airline will still be carrying out essential functions such as maintenance, towing and cleaning to support the airfield and be ready for an efficient start up.  

It comes after easyJet decided to ground its fleet yesterday in a move to save the airline from financial strain.

READ MORE: Gatwick Airport: Flights diverted as main runway closed for inspection

British Airways: Airline grounds all flights from Gatwick Airport amid covid-19 pandemic (Image: GETTY )British Airways: BA made the announcement to staff on Monday via email (Image: GETTY)

Ryanair also decided to cut down 80 percent of their flights to help halt the spread of coronavirus.

The move has also seen BA move all of its London flights to Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

The airline announced on Twitter that they would be pulling out of Terminal 3 of the airport over the weekend.

They posted on Twitter: “We are temporarily moving all of our flights at Heathrow Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 from Sunday.

“If your flight is affected, we will be in contact by email to make sure you are kept up to date.”

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However, customers were not happy with BA’s announcement, accusing them of allegedly not responding to messages.

One customer replied: “How about replying to your customers phone calls, twits and emails? Will that happen anytime soon?”

Another said: “It’s nice to see replying to everyone here but you haven’t bothered to reply to the two messages I sent asking for help.

“Pretty sure all I need is a link to submit details and you can’t even be bothered to do that.”

Others questioned how the airline was still saying flights were running despite travel restrictions.

British Airways: BA flights from Gatwick were already being pared back (Image: GETTY)

One user said: “I can’t even work out why flights are even allowed in or out of the country!

“What’s the point in a lockdown when you keep letting fresh people in the country and potentially contaminated people leave the country?”

BA responded saying, “We’re still operating rescue and repatriation flights to help people return home. Everyone entering a new country has to follow FCO and WHO guidelines on self isolation and quarantine.”

The remaining terminal 3 routes at Heathrow will now take off from terminal 5 where there is more room due to reductions to the schedule.

Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at www.asktraders.com said: “With easyJet announcing that they have grounded all of their fleets and with London City Airport grounding all flights –  it is now British Airways that have suspended their flights from Gatwick. Is it going to be a case where next, will we be seeing airlines and airports coming to a sudden halt in the next couple of days?

“With collapse in demand due travel restrictions, the airline have pulled out from Britain’s second busiest airport. What do we learn from this? We learn that airlines depend on their customers to keep them flying, even if they are domestic or international flights. With a minimum measure of one month, a lot could happen in that time frame – will the airline get into danger or will they take drastic measures and seek help from the government to survive.”

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Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “With British Airways suspending flights from Gatwick the airline needs to provide customers whose flights have now been cancelled with the option of a refund.

“While some may be happy rebooking their holiday for a later date or accepting a voucher, the airline is legally obliged to offer refunds to customers whose flights have been cancelled yet many BA customers say they are struggling to get information on how to get their money back.”

“The government must consider all options to support the airline industry through this period, so consumers aren’t left without money they need at this time.”

Jersey Airport also advised that “due to the current situation BA Jersey/Gatwick services will be suspended as from Tuesday 31 March until end of April.”

Virgin Atlantic have also moved all their London flights to Heathrow.

Gatwick Airport will close its North Terminal from tomorrow and then move its existing flights to the South Terminal.

Gatwick Airport has been contacted for comment.