Gatwick breaks global records and stands ready to deliver airport expansion for Britain

07 July 2016

Gatwick Airport today published its annual results which again reinforce why the airport is the best and only deliverable option for the UK’s next runway.

As the airport continues to break global records for a single-runway airport, retaining its position as the world’s most efficient, handling a record 265,970 air traffic movements (+4% year on year), it has called for a swift decision on airport expansion.

Gatwick has continued to grow its direct long haul routes – recently moving into the premier league of airports with more than 50 global destinations – and, with passenger numbers forecast to continue to increase at a record rate, a Government decision on airport expansion is needed quickly so that Britain can benefit.

CEO Stewart Wingate said today’s results are the latest demonstration of the support and momentum behind Gatwick and that it has become ever more clear that only Gatwick can deliver a new runway for Britain and the growth the economy needs. A new runway at Gatwick can be delivered by 2025, cheaper, and at a fraction of the overwhelming environmental impact facing Heathrow.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, said:

“Gatwick continues to grow and break passenger records for a single runway airport. 

“Aviation is changing fast and Gatwick has now entered the premier league of airports with more than 50 long haul routes. This week, the airport started flights to Tianjin in China and in only a matter of weeks will be flying to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific.

“Aviation growth is outstripping forecasts.  In uncertain times and after decades of delay, only Gatwick can now give Britain certainty that airport expansion can finally happen. Gatwick can have a spade in the ground by 2020 and the first planes flying from a new runway in 2025. 

“Today's results offer a glimpse of the benefits a two-runway Gatwick would deliver for the UK - guaranteed growth with limited environmental impacts and at a cost the country can afford. The time is fast approaching to give expansion at Gatwick the green light so Britain can get the benefits.”

Unprecedented growth

  • Turnover up 5.5% to £673.1million. Combined with carefully controlled cost management, this resulted in EBITDA up 9.7% to £331.0 million and a profit before tax of £141.0 million
  • Gatwick has seen the busiest year in the airport’s history with 40.8 million passengers*, an increase of 5.5% or 2.1 million passengers, as the airport continues to be the World’s busiest single runway airport
  • The year included 8 days with over 920 movements a day and one day of over 934 air traffic movements in August, achieved by increased operational efficiency
  • Gatwick’s growth is a combination of more planes, bigger planes and fuller planes – average load factors have increased to 84.5%
  • Gatwick’s £1 billion investment programme continues with £220.1 million invested over the last 12 months including the creation of the World’s largest self-service bag drop

New airlines and routes

  • Growth across a broad range of travel markets with long-haul traffic, European business routes and emerging markets combining to fuel a record-breaking year
  • Several airlines have increased frequencies on routes and introduced new destinations, this autumn Emirates will start a fourth daily service Gatwick to Dubai
  • A series of business routes have been added with 1 in 5 passengers travelling on business
  • Already this financial year, Gatwick has seen the arrival of new Canadian airline WestJet bringing 28 weekly flights to the airport
  • Norwegian Airlines started new routes from Gatwick to Boston and Oakland San Francisco
  • British Airways brought the UK’s only direct routes to Lima, Peru and Costa Rica to Gatwick and will commence flights to Cape Town from November 2016
  • Cathay Pacific to fly Gatwick to Hong Kong this September while Tianjin Airlines started flying Gatwick to Chongqing and Tianjin this month.

*This has since risen to 41 million passengers annually

Gatwick has today released a newly-produced animation and two CGIs of what an expanded Gatwick will look like and how it will operate; they can be accessed here.

It is also a year on from the Airports Commission’s final report and Gatwick has produced a short document examining the airport expansion debate; it can be accessed here

About Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 220 destinations in 80 countries for more than 41 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. 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.

A Government decision on whether Gatwick airport should be expanded is expected this year. Gatwick’s second runway will deliver the UK the same number of passengers, the same number of long haul routes, better UK and regional connections, and the economic boost the UK needs, all at a dramatically lower environmental impact, at less than half the cost of Heathrow, and with no public subsidy.

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