British low-cost carrier easyJet will replace BMI on Moscow-London route after a pact with Russian airline Transaero. Official permission to fly on this route is supposed to be granted in a few days.
EasyJet flights will fly between Domodedovo and Gatwick. The first daily easyJet flight from Moscow to London is planned to depart on March 18. Starting from April 15 a second daily flight will be added.
The UK’s aviation regulator give preference to easyJet over Virgin Atlantic to take the second slot to operate flight on London – Moscow route in October last year, after the UK carrier BMI, which held the rights, was bought by British Airways owner – the International Airlines Group.
As per the terms of bilateral agreement between Russia and the UK, only two airlines from each of the two countries may operate flights to Moscow from London and return flights. The two Russian airlines are Aeroflot and Transaero. The second UK carrier is BA.
Transaero and easyJet have reached a commercial agreement; however no details have been given to maintain confidentiality, reports on Monday said.
EasyJet trounced Virgin Atlantic in the fight for the second slot. The company advocated that it would provide a better service and pricing that would suit the wider range of customers, the Financial Times reported. The airline also promised to offer a low fare for round trips.
Virgin argued easyJet is not the best choice as it has operated only smaller aircrafts and does not offer business and first-class travellers with a good opton to BA.
However, Virgin will remain Transaero’s marketing partner on the Moscow-London flights. Transaero tickets to London can also be booked through the Virgin Atlantic website, Pleshakova said on a social networking website.