Flybe shareholders have voted to approve the sale of the airline’s Gatwick take-off and landing slots to easyJet.

The regional carrier announced in May plans to withdraw from Gatwick with the proposed £20 million sale of the slots to its budget rival.

The transaction was given the green light when put before shareholders today at a general meeting at Flybe’s Exeter base.

The transfer of the 25 slots pairs will result in Flybe withdrawing from Gatwick from March 2014.

The airline will continue to operate its seven Gatwick routes – to Belfast City, Guernsey, Inverness, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Newcastle and Newquay – until then.

Flybe blamed Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights and high landing fees for squeezing it out of high frequency routes from Gatwick.

The slots sale follows Flybe reporting an annual pre-tax loss of £40.7 million in June.

The general meeting came a day after new chief executive Saad Hammad, a former chief commercial officer at easyJet, started at Flybe.