London Gatwick Airport today unveiled a new investment in its airline customers that has the airport creating the first-of-its-kind booking service to link airline routes that wouldn’t otherwise allow an easy connection.
GatwickConnects allows passengers of two airlines to make a single-flight booking instead of two separate flights at potentially higher cost. Gatwick is backing the bookings with its own guarantee.
“We are uniquely placed to offer a service like GatwickConnects, due to the breadth of our route network and our diverse short and long haul airline mix, said Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate. “Gatwick will look after customers if flights don’t operate as planned.” LGW has airline service to 190 international destinations.
Passengers traveling with easyJet, Norwegian and WOWair can use the service initially. The airport said it knows that one million passengers “already access this network by connecting from low cost airlines to other low cost or full service airlines, but make separate bookings with no protection if a flight is re-scheduled or delayed.”
The airport’s benefits with this new service include premium security Trace Me, SITA’s lugging tracking system, as well as discounts at lounges and duty free shopping. The lost is £27.50 one way for the first passenger and £12.50 for each passenger afterward. Costs include web transaction fees, if an airline charges them. Gatwick’s flight examples show potential savings of between £93 to £876 when connecting itineraries. GatwickConnects routes can be found when booking through Skyscanner and Dohop.
Our analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data shows, easyJet (U2) is Gatwick’s largest airline with 42.1 per cent of seats currently, up from 26.1 per cent five years ago, while Norwegian (DY) has nearly tripled in size to an 8.3 per cent share. Thomas Cook (TCX) has more than tripled to a 2.7 per cent share at Gatwick, while Monarch has been another large gainer, growing from 563,000 seats in 2010 to just over 1 million seats today.
British Airways’ share at LGW has dropped from 18.3 per cent in 2010 to 15 per cent in 2015, according to OAG data. Thomson Airways (TOM), Aer Lingus (EI) and Ryanair (FR) also have experienced declines in seat share during the last five years. During that period, LGW’s airline capacity rose from 18.6 million seats to 22.9 million seats today.
Canadian carrier WestJet is adding new service to Gatwick from six Canadian cities, bringing another new LCC to the airport, while WOW air is set to introduce further long-haul transatlantic flights from Keflavik to Canada, which will connect to its flights from Gatwick.
Routesonline Editor Rich Maslen contributed to this story.