05 November 2013

London Gatwick saw 3.5 million passengers use the airport in September 2013; an increase of 3.3% or 112,000 passengers over the prior year.

This reflects a return to a more modest level of growth compared to July and August, which benefited from the higher passenger numbers following the London 2012 Olympic Games in the prior year.

European routes continued to grow with over 2.5 million passengers choosing to fly from London Gatwick - an increase of 3.5% over the prior year. In addition to growth on European leisure routes, there was a notable increase in traffic to European business routes, in particular to Scandinavia, with destinations such as Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm adding over 33,000 passengers.

On a like-for-like basis, traffic to North America was also up by 4,000 more passengers than the prior year. The reported loss of traffic to North America, down 11.6%, was entirely due to US Airways ceasing services from London Gatwick earlier in the year.

Other long haul growth was up 12.9% with increases on leisure routes to the Caribbean and Africa being complemented by growth on long haul business routes such as Dubai, China and Vietnam.

For domestic traffic, increases on the Belfast (up 11,800 passengers) and Isle of Man (up 6,700 passengers) routes were offset by the withdrawal of some other routes including Manchester.

Load factors - showing how full the average flight was - were at 85.5%, 1.1% points lower than the prior year, but at a level that surpasses competitor airports, reflecting the more efficient use of aircraft and airport infrastructure.

Nick Dunn, Chief Financial Officer at London Gatwick said: “Despite the increasingly competitive London airport market, Gatwick saw an upturn in travel to both short and long haul destinations in September, resulting in over three per cent growth in passenger numbers. This reflects a return to more modest levels of growth compared to the summer months, where growth was higher following the London Olympics in summer 2013.

“Routes to business destinations continue to perform strongly, with growth on European routes being complemented with increases on long haul services to the Middle and Far East.”

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