Aer Lingus to open international base at Gatwick - Gatwick Airport News

Airport news for Gatwick on 22/12/2008.

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Four of the airline’s planes will be based at Gatwick Airport, at the first Aer Lingus base outside of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Seven European destinations will be serviced from Gatwick, including Nice, Malaga, Munich, Faro, Vienna, Zurich and Knock, from the spring of 2009, at one-way fares starting from £19.99, including taxes.

Aer Lingus is currently fending off a new hostile takeover bid by Ryanair.

It already operates flights on a Dublin-Gatwick route, but the upcoming expansion will set it up as a direct rival to budget carrier easyJet, one of Gatwick’s largest carriers.

Aer Lingus has also revealed that it intends is to increase the number of aircraft at Gatwick to eight, raising its passenger potential to 2.5 million per year, within 12 months.

Over 120 new jobs will result during the first year, with the location of four Airbus A320s at the London airport.

Dermot Mannion, the chief executive of Aer Lingus, commented: "The Gatwick operation will complement our existing services out of London Heathrow and position Aer Lingus for growth as we roll out new routes and bases in future years."

The commercial director of Gatwick Airport, Mike Luddy, said: “We know Aer Lingus evaluated a range of airports across Europe for their first base outside Ireland and we are delighted they chose Gatwick as their London base.”

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