London's Gatwick Airport set for Vueling expansion

Vueling is due to increase its presence at London/Gatwick, basing two aircraft at, and boosting its route network from, the West Sussex hub as part of a summer 2022 programme.

The Spanish low-cost carrier is scheduled to launch five new connections. From April 1,  La Coruña, Malaga and Seville are poised to commence at four-weekly, twice-daily and thrice-weekly, respectively. Meanwhile, Granada and Menorca would launch the following day on a thrice-weekly and four-weekly basis, respectively.

Additionally, existing links served by Vueling at the South East England gateway are also set for a frequency bolster. Consequently, Barcelona would be at seven-daily; Bilbao at thrice-daily; Santiago de Compostela and Valencia both at seven-weekly – all in Spain – Rome/Fiumicino up to four-daily, Florence at fifteen-weekly – both in Italy – while Paris/Orly in France will be at fourteen-weekly.

This 2013-vintage Airbus A320ceo, EC-LVP (c/n 5587), is pictured at a sunny Amsterdam in the Netherlands Martin Needham

Stephanie Wear, vice president of aviation development, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vueling’s expansion at Gatwick Airport. Their commitment to [the site] is really positive news for both the airport, our partners and the local economy, as we continue to grow back following the impacts of COVID. The news also shows how attractive airport slots are at Gatwick.

“The additional services Vueling will now be able to offer to Spain and Italy – including new routes to Seville, Granada and Menorca – is excellent news for passengers across London and the South East [of England], providing more choice and competition to popular destinations.”

It is not presently known if the increase in Vueling routes from Gatwick is an interim measure to defend the presence of fellow IAG member British Airways (BA) at the gateway, as the Spanish carrier is using vacant BA slots to expand at the West Sussex hub. The Heathrow-based carrier is set to launch BA EuroFlyer – a new Gatwick-based short-haul operation – in the coming months.

The latest move by Vueling comes as other operators at Gatwick, including British Airways, Emirates, TUI, Turkish Airlines, WestJet and Wizz Air, increase their schedules “toward pre-COVID levels”.

Vueling fields an all-Airbus fleet, consisting of six A319ceos, 74 A320ceos, 25 A320neos and 18 A321ceos as of today (January 26, 2022).