Why is BA CityFlyer launching new summer routes from Southampton?

Summary

  • BA CityFlyer will be operating 11 new routes from Southampton airport to leisure destinations across Europe for the summer season
  • Most of these routes were functional till last year
  • The new routes will fly between 1 May and 31 October giving a new lease of life to the Southampton airport that saw a massive drop in numbers due to the pandemic

BA CityFlyer, the regional subsidiary of British Airways, will be launching 11 new routes from Southampton airport next summer to holiday destinations across Europe. The company will operate 17 flights per week to these routes from 1 May to 31 October, which is expected to be a big bonanza for tourists who could not travel to their desired destinations this year due the pandemic and the collapse of Flybe.

The collapse of Flybe was a major jolt to smaller airports like Southampton which is a very popular airport for the British tourists. The financial disaster and the pandemic have caused heavy losses to the airport, which led to many job losses. 

The financial jolt

Flybe was the largest regional airline in the UK that flew nearly 8 million passengers every year, connecting 81 airports, and flying 210 routes across 15 countries of Europe.

However, its financial troubles kept on mounting and led to collapse. The main reason for its collapse was that it faced an intense price war with low-cost airlines. Second, the slowdown ensuing from Brexit and lastly, the pandemic which brought the whole aviation sector to a halt. 

WizzAir also in the race

Since its collapse, several other airlines have been trying hard to fill the void and tap into Flybe’s large customer base.

Earlier this week, WizzAir had announced creating a base at Cardiff Airport from where it will open six new routes to various destinations in Europe. These routes were earlier operated by Flybe and were quite popular among holiday fliers. WizzAir stated that the opening of Cardiff base will create 40 direct and 250 indirect jobs in the neighbouring areas.

 

Share price performance

 (Source- Refinitiv Thomson Reuters)

The shares of IAG SA (LON: IAG), the parent company of British Airways and BA CityFlyer, were trading at GBX 163.95 per share as on 10 December, (9.42 AM GMT+1) losing 0.15 per cent over the previous day’s close.

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