Flybe has sold off slots at Gatwick airport to IAG-owned budget carrier Vueling.
The domestic carrier, which was rescued by a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium on Thursday (January 10), announced the deal in a trading update issued on Friday afternoon (January 11).
Vueling will pay £4.5 million for the spaces at Gatwick in two tranches, with the slots to be freed up for the summer season.
The first payment will be made in the coming days for cover summer operations, with another payment in June 2019 for winter 2019/20 and subsequent winter seasons.
Gatwick currently accommodates Flybe’s Newquay service, which is due to switch to Heathrow in March.
“Flybe Group plc announces that today [Friday] Flybe Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary, signed an agreement with Vueling Airlines to receive a total of £4,500,000 in respect of slots at London Gatwick Airport,” read the update.
“The funds will be paid in two tranches, being receivable in the next few days in respect of slots to be used during the Summer Season in 2019 and for subsequent Summer Seasons.
“The remainder is due in June 2019 in respect of slots to be used during the Winter Season in 2019/20 and subsequent Winter Seasons.”
Flybe in 2013 sold a number of slots at Gatwick to easyJet for £20 million.
Doubt though has been cast on the Flybe rescue deal after the Virgin-led consortium, which also includes Stobart Group and private equity firm Cyrus Capital, reportedly inserted a “Brexit clause” in the takeover agreement, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Citing “sources close to the deal", the paper said the deal was conditional on Flybe obtaining new operating licences and authorisations post-Brexit.