The new London Gatwick to Moscow service is easyJet's 100th route from the airport in West Sussex. The expansion into Russia is possible after the airline successfully bid for routes that came available when BMI was bought by BA's parent company.
Under a bilateral agreement between the UK and Russia only two airlines from each country between the two capitals. easyJet beat Virgin Atlantic Airways in getting permission to fly the route.
This is the first time Moscow has been served from London Gatwick airport with the airline expecting to fly more than a quarter of a million passengers between London Gatwick and Moscow annually.
Responding to the publication of Heathrow Airport’s future investment plans and charges for the period 2014 to 2019, Virgin Atlantic Chief Operating Officer Steve Griffiths said:
Virgin Atlantic is totally committed to improving the passenger experience at Heathrow. However, we believe this can be done without a repeat of the incredibly steep price rises we have seen in airport charges in the last few years. Prices at Heathrow are triple the level they were ten years ago. Clearly this is a concern for all passengers travelling through Heathrow, and all airlines operating there.
– Virgin Atlantic Chief Operating Officer Steve Griffith