The boss of the UK’s third-largest airline has expressed concerns a failure to deal quickly with the drone over Gatwick could inspire further incidents countrywide.
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays chief executive Steve Heapy said he was surprised the shutdown of the airport, which saw about 1,000 aircraft grounded over a three-day period, was allowed to go on for so long.
With the authorities seemingly unable to track down the culprits, he is now concerned that further incidents could be inspired by what happened at Gatwick.
Heapy said: “I can’t understand why an airport was completely disabled for the length of time it was.
“There seems to have been a huge hesitation in dealing with this. If [flying] a drone at an airport brings it to a standstill, there’s an opportunity for people who want to make a protest to do the same at another airport, as the response seemed pretty slow.”
Heapy made the comments last week at the Boeing factory in Seattle, where TTG was in attendance as the airline took delivery of its 100th aircraft, a 189-seat 737-800NG.
Heapy was also confident a Brexit deal would be struck in time for the UK’s departure from the EU on March 29, adding the airline was better placed than some of its rivals to ride out the storm if a deal is not struck.
He said: “If it comes to a tough time… we have a lot of cash in the bank and can continue operations for longer than some of our competitors.”
Find contacts in TTG's Little Black Book
Jet2holidays is the UK's second largest holiday operator, and the top choice for independent travel agents. We're now celebrating 11 terrific years of selling great-value package holidays you can trust.