EasyJet looks to add more flights from Bristol Airport after snapping up former Thomas Cook slots

November 10, 2019

Low-cost airline easyJet, the largest operator from Bristol Airport, is to expand further there following the acquisition of take-off and landing slots formerly owned by defunct travel group Thomas Cook.

The airline is paying £36m for the six summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair at Bristol along with 20 slots at Gatwick Airport. 

Airport slots are vital for airlines to expand their route network from airports, such as Bristol and Gatwick, that are constrained in their ability to add new flights.

In Bristol’s case, it is seeking planning approval for a major upgrade an expansion of its terminal to allow it to handle more landings and take-offs.

Until then, airlines such as easyJet, which want to meet soaring demand for flights, have to constantly shuffle their destinations.

EasyJet said it would provide further details of its intentions with the new slots in its full-year results on November 19

The airline beat off competition from rivals BA, Whizz Air and Virgin for the Gatwick slots, with all three expressing interest in getting hold of them in the wake of Thomas Cook’s liquidation.

Budget holiday firm Jet2.com, which does not operate from Bristol. recently bought Thomas Cook’s landing slots at Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted airports.

The announcement from easyJet follows the decision by German airline Lufthansa to launch a new direct flight from Bristol to Frankfurt from next March.

EasyJet has also launched its first flight on its new route this week from Bristol to Hurghada in Egypt – the 72nd destination easyJet now flies to on its Bristol network.

This summer the airline based a 17th aircraft at Bristol as it introduced new routes to Milan and Brindisi in Italy and Biarritz in France. It also added a second daily flight between Bristol and Paris from July to allow day trips for business travellers.


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