PRESS RELEASES

Record Gatwick growth illustrates need for decisive action on runway capacity

11/05/2015

  • April traffic figures show 26 consecutive months of passenger growth with nearly 3.2 million passengers travelling through the airport
  • Gatwick responds to launch of Airports Commission consultation on air quality, pointing out that despite consistent growth, it has never breached air quality limits, while Heathrow consistently does
  • Gatwick CEO: “Now is the time for a final decision on extra runway capacity.  Decades of debate must now turn to action”

Nearly 3.2 million passengers travelled through Gatwick Airport in April, a 0.6 per cent increase on the previous year, the 26th consecutive month of consistent growth and the busiest April ever.

In 2015, the busy Easter getaway was spread across both March and April traffic, while the previous year, Easter was firmly represented in the April figures and was the first April that Gatwick had handled more than 3 million passengers in its terminals.  April 2015 sees an increase of 18,000 passengers.

The largest growth comes on routes to the North Atlantic where nearly 152,000 people travelled, an increase of 8.2 per cent.  This is due to the success of the Norwegian operation, which offers low-cost long-haul flights to four destinations in the US.  Norwegian launched its low-cost transatlantic operation at Gatwick in July 2014 and has enjoyed continued success since then, underlining the growing importance of point-to-point travel and the impacts the low-cost long-haul market could have on the airports expansion debate.

The busiest European route was Barcelona, with traffic increased by 0.2 per cent with 113,200 passengers travelling to the Spanish city in April.  The route is operated by Vueling Airlines, Monarch, Norwegian, easyjet and British Airways.

Dubai remains the busiest long-haul route out of Gatwick, with passenger numbers increasing month on month following the introduction of a second daily A380 on the route operated by Emirates.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said: “Our record run of growth proves yet again the benefit of having a network of competing airports in the South East. However investment can only take us so far with our growth strategy.  

"Now is the time for a final decision on extra runway capacity.   Decades of debate must now turn to action.  The fact remains, a new runway at Gatwick can be delivered quicker, cheaper, more simply and at a fraction of the overwhelming environmental costs that face Heathrow.

"It is highly significant that the first decision by the Airports Commission after the election is to consult on the issue of air quality. It shows that the issue has now become fundamental to the choice that lies ahead. It is an issue that cannot be ignored.  The area around Heathrow currently breaches legal air quality limits, while Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and our location means we never will."

A major programme of investment is underway in the airport’s North Terminal, with £1 billion committed to projects that will help to drive Gatwick’s growth in lieu of a second runway. Although these projects will allow the airport to grow beyond its current position, investment will only drive growth up to a point.


Month

Moving Annual Total

Growth

May-14

May-13

Growth

 

Apr-15

Apr-14

(%)

Apr-15

Apr-14

(%)

 

 

 

 

Total terminal passengers (000s)

3,181.1

3,163.1

0.6%

38,684.6

36,307.5

6.5%

Market Analysis:

UK + Channel Islands

301.1

317.6

(5.2)%

3,597.4

3,790.2

(5.1)%

Ireland

111.8

106.6

4.9%

1,310.6

1,277.3

2.6%

European scheduled

2,047.2

2,023.5

1.2%

25,353.5

23,338.4

8.6%

European charter

276.8

286.6

(3.4)%

3,204.7

2,998.5

6.9%

North Atlantic

151.9

140.5

8.2%

1,739.7

1,599.6

8.8%

Other long haul

292.3

288.4

1.4%

3,478.8

3,303.5

5.3%

 

Air transport movements

21,845

21,902

(0.3)%

261,005

255,361

2.2%

Cargo (metric tonnes)

6,727

7,577

(11.2)%

87,549

93,282

(6.1)%









Note: Origins and destinations are classified according to ultimate origin or destination of aircraft in the case of multi-sector flights.


ENDS


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.

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