BRITISH Airways short-haul operations returned to Gatwick Airport yesterday after nearly two years.

The airline paused its European operations from the Gatwick airport during the pandemic, relocating flights to Britain's biggest airport, Heathrow.

Initial flights will operate under the British Airways Air Operators Certificate before moving operations to a new British Airways branded subsidiary, BA Euroflyer, later in the year.

The new airline will operate similarly to the company’s existing subsidiary BA Cityflyer, flying under the British Airways brand.

The Argus: BA has returned to GatwickBA has returned to Gatwick

On the first day of operation, British Airways will operate four short-haul flights to Larnaca, Amsterdam, Paphos and Tenerife. In total, customers will have the choice of 35 destinations to fly to from Gatwick, before more destinations are added later this year.

Tom Stoddart, acting CEO British Airways Euroflyer, said “Today marks a significant milestone for British Airways as we operate our first European services from Gatwick in two years.”

“I am really proud of what we have created at Gatwick, we have an excellent team with lots of new and exciting talent. I am looking forward in anticipation to see our newest subsidiary grow, adding new routes and providing customers with more options to get away on holiday with a premium British Airways service.”

Millar Smith, British Airways Euroflyer Crew member, said: “I was over the moon when I found out that I had been accepted as crew for British Airways, it is my dream job!

"Before this I worked as a 999 handler for the London Ambulance Service, which has been incredibly useful throughout my training with the airline. British Airways is a premium British airline and that is what excited me about the job role.

"My first service will be to Tenerife and I can’t wait!”

The launch comes just a day after Gatwick reopened its South terminal, which had been closed for years as a result of the pandemic.

The move was the equivalent of opening a medium-sized airport overnight, meeting the expected high demand for summer travel this year.

The terminal had been dormant since June 15 2020 to reduce costs.