Passenger traffic on European routes continued to grow with over 2.7 million passengers choosing to fly from London Gatwick - an increase of 9.1% in the prior year. The top three European destinations were Spain, Italy and Greece.
This was complemented by growth on European business routes such as Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, which added over 40,000 passengers. easyJet’s new Moscow route also continued to be popular with over 19,000 passengers flying there from London Gatwick in July.
The loss of traffic to North America, down 10.7%, was mainly due to US Airways ceasing services from London Gatwick earlier in the year.
Other long haul growth was up 9.3% with connections to Dubai accounting for a quarter of the increase. Traffic to China and Vietnam was also up 14.7% and 26% respectively.
Domestic traffic saw a return to growth following the launch of the Belfast route by Aer Lingus, generating an additional 18,000 passengers and offsetting the withdrawal of the Flybe Aberdeen route.
Load factors - showing how full the average flight was - were at 88.1%. This was a record for the month and 1.8 percentage points higher than the prior year.
Other news in July included:
- Thomson commenced its first regular services to Cancun and Orlando on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. A new route to Phuket will follow later this year.
- Ten new or refreshed retail stores opened in the South Terminal departure lounge, marking the first major milestone of Gatwick's £21 million transformation of this area.
- Gatwick welcomed passengers flying out during the school holidays with entertainment in both terminals ranging from music and dance shows to magicians and comedy acts. Around six million passengers are forecast to travel through Gatwick over the summer school holidays.
Nick Dunn, Chief Financial Officer at London Gatwick said: “While over 3.8 million passengers passed through Gatwick in July, the rate of growth needs to be adjusted to take into account the adverse impact on traffic of last year’s London 2012 Olympic Games. Considering this, we saw underlying growth of 3.5% in July this year.
“It is encouraging to see growth in European traffic given the strong economic headwinds. We are also pleased to note the continued success of some of our newer long haul carriers such as Air China and Vietnam Airlines, which extended its services over the summer to offer passengers even more choice of when to travel to this key emerging market.”