Gatwick Dominance: easyJet Boosted By Norwegian Departure

easyJet expects to operate over half of all Gatwick flights this year, its record. And as the summer season fast approaches, now less than two weeks away, we see that it has 109 routes bookable, down by just five before coronavirus hit. easyJet’s summer network at Gatwick is broadly intact, just with fewer flights.

easyJet at Gatwick
London Gatwick has long been easyJet’s top airport. Photo: Getty Images.

easyJet’s dominance at the UK’s second-busiest airport, London Gatwick, is set to increase to 54% this year, its highest yet. This is aided by easyJet gaining slots from Norwegian closing its Gatwick base (but still having flights with non-based aircraft), having slots returned that it had leased to others, and other airlines (temporarily) reducing operations at the airport.

Back in December, easyJet’s CEO said that it’d base four additional aircraft at Gatwick this summer for a total of 71:

“In anticipation that demand for travel will return – and having recently seen signs of growing confidence by our customers in making plans for travel next spring and summer – we have decided to continue investing at our largest base, Gatwick.”

Gatwick Dominance: easyJet Boosted By Norwegian Departure
easyJet has 109 routes bookable from Gatwick this summer. Photo: Getty Images

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Gatwick is easyJet’s top airport

Gatwick has been easyJet’s number-one airport for many years. The carrier had a 37% share of the airport’s flights back in 2011, growing to 44% before coronavirus hit.

easyJet had over 123,000 flights at Gatwick in 2019, meaning this airport had one-fifth of its total, data from OAG shows. Gatwick’s contribution to the airline’s overall success is undeniable; no wonder it further grows its strength and dominance at the airport. It will continue to grow at Gatwick for as long as it can.

Looking specifically at this summer, now starting in less than two weeks, easyJet expects just over 66,000 flights, down by 16% over pre-coronavirus summer 2019, although further changes are inevitable. In terms of routes, it has 109 routes bookable, down by just five (4%). easyJet’s Gatwick summer network is broadly intact, just with fewer flights.

easyJet at Gatwick
easyJet had 38% more flights at Gatwick in 2019 than in 2011. Source: OAG

easyJet’s 109 routes from Gatwick this summer

Amsterdam will be easyJet’s top route from Gatwick this summer, the same as it always is, but flights will be down by nearly three in ten. However, sun destinations will be more vital than ever, although this – like most routes – really depends on if the holiday ban is lifted when it is currently planned.

The likes of Palma, Malaga, and Faro, all in the top-10, have risen in the table, even though flights are down for them too – just not by much. Flights to Palma, for example, are down by just 5% over summer 2019, with Palma to be easyJet’s second-thickest route from Gatwick, up from eighth.

As you’d expect, bigger cities have generally taken the brunt, with flights to Milan Malpensa – down by seven places to ninth – reduced by nearly half. The third lockdown in Italy clearly won’t help. Flights are not down for all bigger cities, though. Lisbon is up by 4%, strong as it is for holidays and visiting friends and relatives demand. Portugal has just been removed from England’s ‘red list’ of countries, so flights will probably increase further.

easyJet's top Gatwick routes
Berlin has entered the top-10, kicking Alicante to 11th. Source: OAG

Turkey flights have doubled

easyJet expects to serve 29 countries from Gatwick this summer. Spain is very much top by flights, followed by Italy and Greece. It’ll serve 17 Spanish destinations, 14 in Italy, 15 in Greece.

Greece and Turkey are two countries that have bucked the trend, with easyJet’s summer flights from Gatwick above pre-coronavirus levels. This is especially true of Turkey:

  • Antalya: 382 flights scheduled this summer, up by 189% over summer 2019
  • Dalaman: 416, up by 116%
  • Bodrum: 252, up by 47%
  • Izmir: 81, up by 16%

Up the road, Heathrow expects over one million seats scheduled to Greece this summer, while Manchester-Dalaman will be TUI’s top route.

easyJet A321neo
easyJet’s A321neos will be used on around 4% of its Gatwick flights this summer. At the time of writing, 42 airports are due to see them, especially (and naturally) longer routes to Turkey, Greece, and the Canaries. Photo: Alan Wilson via Wikimedia.

Routes coming

easyJet is adding, and adding back, multiple routes from Gatwick this summer, including:

  • Brindisi: last served in 2019, restarting May 29th; four-weekly at peak
  • Bilbao: starts May 28th, four-weekly
  • Cagliari: starts May 29th, three-weekly
  • Enfidha: starts May 29th, twice-weekly
  • Toulon: starts June 23rd, twice-weekly
  • Burgas: starts July 2nd, twice-weekly (operating for just 11 weeks; the real peak)