easyJet is meeting the European Transport Commission today to protest against airlines` hoarding departure slots on suspended routes this Winter 2001-2002.
easyJet wants to take up slots at Gatwick and other major airports, left free as traditional airlines like British Airways cut their services.
BA has asked the EU for slot protection on its eight suspended European services out of Gatwick, until passenger numbers are restored.
“There is an argument for slot protection on transatlantic routes, but not on European point-to-point routes, which the traditional airlines have been running at a loss and with low passenger numbers a long time before the terrible events of 11 September” explained easyJet CEO Ray Webster.
easyJet is bucking the current downtrend in passenger numbers, with 26.4% more passengers for the 12 months ending 30 September 2001 compared with the previous year. It carried 680,383 passengers in September, a 27% increase on the previous September.
“The traditional airlines currently monopolise slots at Gatwick and Heathrow, which is severely restricting consumer choice on these routes” continued easyJet CEO Ray Webster. “If BA can`t fly some of its European services from Gatwick, then why should they be able to keep them, when we can fly them now.”