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Gatwick may not have the advantages of Heathrow, but it is the right size for easyJet.
The company said on Thursday that the deal would give it certainty over user charges at Gatwick for the next seven years and help it move to operate from one terminal at the airport.
The plan is for easyJet, which already flies 45% of the passengers from Gatwick, to be housed entirely in the larger north terminal, where it will become the dominant operator.
British Airways would move to the smaller south terminal because of the significant overlap in the two airlines’ short-haul operations. But Virgin Atlantic would move all its operations to run alongside easyJet from the north terminal as its flights do not clash with easyJet’s peak-time flights.
“This agreement gives easyJet certainty on passenger charges over the next seven years and a clear incentive to continue to grow,” said easyjet chief executive Carolyn McCall. “More importantly, it will create a framework for easyJet and Gatwick to plan and deliver an improved experience for our passengers.”
Gatwick is already the airline’s largest base and it plans to increase capacity by around 10% over the years to March 2015 compared to the previous year.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk