(Bloomberg) --

British Airways abandoned a plan to set up a new, lower-cost unit at London’s Gatwick airport, after failing to receive support from its pilots union.

The carrier had terminated most short-haul flights from the region’s second-largest hub at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It said in August that it planned to start a new unit for short-haul flights if it could gain union backing for the plan, which involved setting up a new unit that would offer less expensive contracts than at the main IAG SA division.

“After many years of losing money on European flights from the airport, we were clear that coming out of the pandemic, we needed a plan to make Gatwick profitable and competitive,” BA said in a statement Thursday. 

BA will now suspend most of its short-haul operations from Gatwick and look for alternative uses for its takeoff-and-landing slots, it said. The carrier is currently only operating long-haul flights from the hub, with shorter services limited to its main base at nearby Heathrow and regional routes from London City.

BA will continue to offer a handful of domestic flights from Gatwick that feed longer journeys.

The U.K.’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which supports 1.9 million people, is due to end on Sept. 30.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.