easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) revealed Friday the acquisition of Thomas Cook’s take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick and Bristol airports for £36mln.
The new slots comprise 12 summer pairs and eight winter pairs at Gatwick, as well as six summer pairs and one winter slot at Bristol, with more details to be announced at the firm’s full-year results on 19 November.
Gatwick was one of the main bases for Thomas Cook’s airline business before the holidays giant's collapse in September, although the slots at its other main hub, Manchester airport, are as yet unclaimed.
easyJet shares shed 2% to 1,307.5p on Friday afternoon, flying lower alongside its blue-chip peer International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LON:IAG), which forecast slower capacity growth and weaker earnings potential for the three years to 2022 in a statement.
However, British Airways’ owner regained some of its poise during the day, nearing the market close it was trading at 541.6p - a mere 0.6% decline - having dropped 2% in the morning.
The airline sector has been under the weather recently, with Brexit uncertainty, pilot strikes and the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX all affecting company balance sheets.