Click video. There's concern tonight that the airline Flybe could be in trouble after its announced it will no longer fly out of Gatwick. The airline - which has operated from the airport for 22 years - will pull out from next March.
Interview with Mike Rutter, Group Board Director with Flybe. He says Southampton could benefit from Flybe's move out of Gatwick.
A company spokesman said: "Easyjet plc can confirm it has completed an agreement with Flybe Group plc to acquire 25 pairs of arrival and departure slots at Gatwick airport for a total consideration of £20 million. The acquisition is subject to the approval of Flybe's shareholders.
"The slots will transfer from summer 2014 and will allow easyJet to provide additional frequencies on popular existing routes from Gatwick as well as add new destinations across the UK and Europe."
Flybe, the biggest airline at Southampton, is asking pilots to take a 5% pay cut and is looking to make around 80 staff redundant to stop massive losses. The company is soon expected to announce losses of £23million.
It will also pull out of Gatwick selling 25 pairs of take-off and landing slots each day to rival Easyjet for £20m. The jobs will go across the country but losses at Southampton are not being ruled out.
The airline recently warned annual losses for the year to March will be deeper than feared at around £23 million as it is squeezed by higher fuel costs and the tough economy.
Flybe will cease flights from Gatwick next March, where it currently flies more than half a million passengers.
EasyJet today said it will review the routes, but there is no obligation for it to maintain them.
Flybe is selling the 25 pairs of take-off and landing slots to raise vital funds after struggling during the downturn. It blamed higher taxes and charges Gatwick for its decision to quit the airport.
Flybe flies to and from Newcastle, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Inverness, Guernsey, Belfast and Newquay from Gatwick. It flew 550,000 passengers from the airport in its latest financial year. It said there will be no change to the routes' frequency or timings while it still operates the slots.
Flybe also revealed another 80 redundancies, on top of almost 600 staff - or 22% of its workforce - who have been axed so far as part of plans to save at least £35 million a year. The airline has delayed the purchase of 16 new aircraft from Embraer, saving £20 million in payments this year.
Its 650 pilots, most of whom are in the British Airline Pilots Association, have agreed in principle to take a 5% salary cut in return for extra time off, it added.
Flybe is to axe all of its Gatwick flights, having sold its arrival and departure slots at the London airport to easyJet for £20 million.
It announced to the London Stock Exchange this morning that it will pull out of the airport, from where it has operated for 22 years, at the end of March 2014.
It will mean the loss of flights from the London airport to Belfast City, Guernsey, Inverness, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Newcastle and Newquay.