IAG to study Gatwick fleet next year

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British Airways is not expecting to review its fleet-replacement requirements for London Gatwick until early next year.

International Airlines Group chief executive Willie Walsh says that Gatwick has an "important part to play" within British Airways and "potentially" within IAG.

He says a fleet-replacement review will probably take place early next year, as BA and IAG examine the role of the airport in their business model.

Walsh says there are "several options" open but that the carrier does not need to make a decision until the second half of 2013.

He says that the airline's regional operation CityFlyer is keen to capitalise on additional freedom at London City, particularly given the "uncertain" future of Air France-KLM operation CityJet.

Air France-KLM is assessing options for CityJet but Walsh stresses that IAG has "no interest" in acquiring the carrier.

He says that any reduction in activity from competitors at London City simply means slots become available "effectively free", and that BA CityFlyer can "benefit from their retreat".

Walsh says the CityFlyer Embraer operation has had a "really positive introduction" and that the business is ahead of targets.