PRESS RELEASES

Gatwick hits 40 million passengers a year for first time

17/11/2015

  • Milestone reached 10 years ahead of flawed Airports Commission forecast 

Gatwick broke the 40 million passengers a year mark for the first time this weekend, and is rapidly approaching full capacity, the airport said today as it published record traffic data for October.

The Airports Commission said it would take nearly ten years (2024) for Gatwick to hit 40 million passengers a year – a forecasting error that clearly demonstrates the serious flaws in the Commission’s final report.  

With a Government decision on airport expansion expected in weeks, Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:

“To reach 40 million passengers a year is a tremendous achievement and sets a global benchmark for a single runway airport.  We have grown rapidly under new ownership and the benefits of competition are clear for passengers - more choice, higher standards and lower fares. It will not be long however before we are full. That is why Gatwick needs a second runway.  
 
“We have reached this milestone 10 years ahead of the Airport Commission’s prediction that we would do so in 2024. The Commission's Report has unravelled in recent months and we now know beyond doubt that there is a fundamental error at the heart of the Report. Whether the Report is flawed is no longer a matter of debate, it is a statement of fact.  Traffic forecasts obviously underpin the economic figures in the Report so people will make their own judgement on the economic credibility of the Commission's work. 
 
“Illegal air quality has prevented Heathrow expansion twice in the past and it is worse today than it was then. A third runway at Heathrow would fail again as it would be illegal. So the choice is clear - expansion grounded at Heathrow once again with Britain losing out, or expansion taking off at Gatwick with Britain reaping the benefits.”


The flaws in the Commission’s Report

Traffic forecasting: The Commission’s final recommendation was based primarily on the economic benefits that it calculated each scheme would deliver.  These calculations however were generated using traffic forecasts that significantly underplay air traffic levels at Gatwick, relative to Heathrow. Other traffic forecasting errors include:

estimating that Gatwick will generate only two million passengers in first year of operating with a second runway; in reality Gatwick grew by 2.7 million passengers last year with a single runway
predicting that, after five years with a second runway, Gatwick will have only eight million additional passengers – less than it assumes Heathrow would have after one year with a third
between 2025 – 2030 Heathrow is assumed to grow by 36 million passengers compared to only 9 million at Gatwick.
 
Economic benefits: The Commission’s own economic analysis, following Treasury guidelines, shows that the economic value of each scheme is virtually the same. The Commission, however, emphasises and widely quotes the conclusions of PwC analysis, despite the Commission’s own expert panel urging caution about attaching significant weight to these results, stating that care is required in assessing its “robustness and reliability”.

Air Quality: The Commission states that air quality is a problem but then largely ignores the fact that the levels at Heathrow today breach legal limits even without a third runway. Gatwick has never exceeded legal air quality limits and would not do so with a second runway.

Notes:

October traffic results:

  • Busiest ever October as Gatwick achieves 32nd consecutive month of growth
  • 3.6 million passengers travelled through the airport in October, +7.8%, or 262,600 more than the same month last year
  • Routes contributing to this significant growth include European routes up 9.7% and North Atlantic routes up 8.5%
  • European destinations showing strong growth include: Madrid +37%, Rome +22.4%, Venice +22.8% and Barcelona +13.8%
  • North Atlantic destinations showing strong growth include: New York +111.6% and LA +86.9%.
  • Growth to Dubai was +11.4%
  • Average load factor across all flights was 85.3%

 

Month

 

Moving Annual Total

Growth

Nov-14

Nov-13

Growth

 

Oct-15

Oct-14

(%)

 

Oct-15

Oct-14

(%)

 

 

 

 

Total terminal passengers (000s)

3,614.9

3,353.3

7.8%

39,969.1

37,801.2

5.7%

Market Analysis:

UK + Channel Islands

327.2

321.3

1.8%

3,587.8

3,700.6

(3.0)%

Ireland

128.8

114.7

12.3%

1,357.8

1,283.2

5.8%

European scheduled

2,395.5

2,184.5

9.7%

26,478.1

24,663.5

7.4%

European charter

299.1

288.7

3.6%

3,168.3

3,140.7

0.9%

North Atlantic

187.5

172.8

8.5%

1,863.2

1,658.0

12.4%

Other long haul

276.7

271.3

2.0%

3,513.8

3,355.1

4.7%

Air transport movements

23,913

22,947

4.2%

266,114

259,396

2.6%

Cargo (metric tonnes)

6,355

7,678

(17.2)%

75,153

88,598

(15.2)%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

About London Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the UK contributing £5.3 billion to national GDP and generating 85,000 jobs nationally, with around 24,000 on the wider airport campus alone. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

Media enquiries to
GATWICK AIRPORT PRESS OFFICE
+ 44 (0) 1293 505000
gatwickmedia@gatwickairport.com

For further information on Gatwick Airport see www.gatwickairport.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatwick_Airport

Media enquiries ONLY

Gatwick Airport Press Office
+44 (0) 1293 50 5000

gatwickmedia@gatwickairport.com


Main Gatwick switchboard: 

+44 (0) 1293 50 7888