1 OCTOBER 2012

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Article from BTNews 1 OCTOBER 2012

Moscow hearings

Monday and Tuesday (1-2 October) will see an event now rare in the airline calendar, a Civil Aviation Authority hearing between three airlines on, what will be for two of them, a new route.

Currently there are two Russian airlines serving Moscow from London, Aeroflot (Sheremetyevo) and Transaero (Domodedovo) and legally two British airlines, BA and bmi (both Domodedovo).

It is the single bmi slot that is up for grabs.  With BA now a UK domestic monopoly at Heathrow its chances of getting the route would seem slim.  However it has been cunning and applied for Sheremetyevo.

For easyJet the four-hour flight is within easy range of its Airbus A320 series aircraft and it will offer a very competitive proven service that now appeals to both the business and leisure traveller.  Gatwick, with slots to spare, is the official alternative to Heathrow and easyJet’s major base.  A win for the carrier would free up 14 weekly Heathrow slots.

For Virgin Atlantic it is assumed that a two-class long haul A330 will be the aircraft for the service, and that at Heathrow T3 connecting traffic is a vital part of the offering, including the airline's proposed routes to Manchester (firm), Edinburgh and Aberdeen. www.caa.co.uk/docs/213/2059Final.pdf

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