18 March 2014

London Gatwick saw 2.3 million passengers use the airport in February 2014 - an increase of 7.7%, or 164,800 passengers, over the prior year.

This was mainly due to over 1.5 million passengers travelling on European routes - an increase of 8.2% on the prior year – with the majority of this growth on flights to key business routes with destinations as diverse as Oslo, Istanbul, Moscow and Helsinki. 

This was complemented by growth on leisure routes, particularly to Spain and Portugal. This was tempered by fewer passengers on charter flights to European leisure destinations, reflecting the longer-term market move towards scheduled, low cost airlines.

Other long haul growth was up 15.6%, mainly as a result of increases on routes including Thailand and Sri Lanka. In addition, the trend of significant growth continued on long haul business routes such as Dubai.

The reported loss of traffic to North America, down 14.0%, was mainly due to US Airways ceasing services from London Gatwick earlier in 2013. This summer’s launch of three new Norwegian routes to the US (New York, Los Angeles and Florida) will help reverse the trend of lower traffic to this region.

Closer to home, there were increases on all but one domestic route, with more than double the previous year’s passengers on the Newquay route. Gatwick worked quickly and closely with others in the aviation industry to assist the flood stricken south west and waived charges on additional flights to and from Newquay.

Load factors - showing how full the average flight was - were at 80.7%, in line with the prior year. 

Nick Dunn, Chief Financial Officer at London Gatwick, said:

“The arrival of the Emirates A380 on its Gatwick-Dubai route and Air China’s reintroduction of direct flights to Beijing in March will further strengthen the growth Gatwick has seen in February on established routes to the Middle East, Far East and Indian Sub-Continent. However we also expect to sustain strong performance on routes to Europe – a market which will continue to dominate in terms of where passengers want to fly for both business and leisure from London.”

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