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EasyJet to Launch London Gatwick – Moscow Service

EasyJet to Launch London Gatwick – Moscow Service

Following its launch on Monday of daily service from Belfast International Airport to Birmingham, easyJet has today announced that it has been awarded the rights to fly between London and Moscow by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority and will commence flights in spring 2013. From Monday 29th October the Belfast – Birmingham service will increase to two flights daily from Monday – Friday and one on Saturday and Sunday.

The flight time is around an hour. On weekdays from 29th October the departure times will be 07.10 and 17.50. The Saturday flight will depart at 07.10 and the Sunday flight at 16.30.

EasyJet

Ali Gayward, Commercial Manager, said: “This new route has been driven by customer demand and we are delighted to launch an easy and affordable option of travel from Belfast to the city of Birmingham. Our flights to Birmingham will be year-round. We will be flying at peak times to meet the needs of our business passengers and the fares will also offer leisure passengers affordable access to the Midlands.”

London Gatwick – Moscow

The twice-daily London Gatwick – Moscow Domodedovo service will be operated by A320s with 180 seats.

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive, said: “We believe that our flights will be popular with business and leisure travellers alike. EasyJet has proved again and again that when we enter a new market we open it up, bringing in competition and lower fares and enabling more people to travel on the route. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board next spring.”

Fares will start from £125 return and will be on sale in the coming weeks. The four-hour flights will depart London at 07.00 and 14.00 each day, departing Moscow at 14.40 and 21.40.

Virgin Atlantic “Perplexed”

Virgin Atlantic, which had hoped to begin flights from London Heathrow to Moscow next spring, said it was “very disappointed” and “perplexed” by the CAA’s decision.

“Data shows that passengers travelling between Moscow and London use Heathrow Airport and not Gatwick, long-haul connectivity is far greater via Heathrow and this decision will also reduce capacity between the two capitals, which is not good for UK consumers,” the airline said. “The flying that disappeared with BMI’s exit from the route has not been remedied despite the European Competition Authorities identifying this very issue. Now there will be a major shortage of capacity for UK business travellers seeking to trade with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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