AOA Airport Operator Magazine | Winter 2022

Living with the virus. ‘Cautious optimism’ has been a well-used phrase in recent months, but it is one that does, I think, summarise how many in the industry feel as we start the New Year. 

As we get better at living with COVID-19, it is vital we do not panic and resort to draconian travel restrictions each and every time a new variant takes hold. That would simply not be sustainable. We must prepare more measured, proportionate responses. They should of course protect public health, but also balance and have more concern for their impact on the economy, jobs and people’s livelihoods.

There are also other reasons for optimism that, together, are helping build genuine momentum and confidence that, this time, we are starting a recovery proper. At Gatwick, some major airline announcements have been extremely welcome. BA will restart their short haul operation in March, which is when Wizz Air – one of Europe’s largest airlines – will significantly increase its operation from the airport with many new routes. easyJet, our biggest airline, has also taken up more slots at Gatwick with others, including airlines such as Emirates, TUI, Turkish and Westjet also increasing their schedules toward pre-covid levels. Christmas bookings were also at comparatively good levels, and early indications are that recent changes to UK travel restrictions are starting to drive bookings for Easter and Summer.

We are not, however, anywhere near out of the woods.  

 Winter-2022-AOA-Airport-Operator-Magazine.pdf (5 MB)