BA will continue to run the services from Heathrow following its bmi takeover while easyJet is due to launch services from Gatwick to the Russian city early next year. Virgin Atlantic said it was ‘perplexed’ over the decision and went against competition enquiries first aired when BA acquired bmi.
A hearing by the board at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) made the decision, chaired by CAA’s director of regulatory policy Iain Osborne.
“On balance, allocating scarce capacity to BA and easyJet is likely to deliver the greatest benefit to consumers. easyJet’s proposal will introduce an innovative product into the market and has the potential to deliver the greatest dynamic fare benefits for consumers,” he explained.
“We concluded that easyJet’s proposal would introduce a distinctly different product into the market and would stimulate innovation on the route as a whole, as well as satisfying and stimulating consumer demand that is currently underserved, in particular: people who prefer or are content to use Gatwick.”