New links bolster Gatwick’s long-haul growth
27 November 2019
Gatwick has revealed in its interim results that new direct routes to Brazil and Argentina have contributed to a 2.3% - or 107,340 passengers – year-on-year uplift for long-haul flying.
Passengers have been making the most of Norwegian’s new service to Rio de Janeiro and an increase in flights to Buenos Aires. Combined, these routes led to 101,100 more passengers travelling to South America from Gatwick than the prior year. The new links also provided more opportunity for goods to be transported, leading to year-on-year growth of 39% for cargo between Gatwick and South America.
Overall, in the six months ended 30 September 2019, 26.6 million passengers travelled through Gatwick, an increase of 0.2% - or an extra 56,803 passengers - compared to the same period last year. Revenue was up 5.6% to £541.3m, resulting in EBITDA up 7.9% to £350.6m and a profit after tax of £137m.
Around 1 in 5 of Gatwick’s passengers is now travelling to a long-haul destination, with the airport offering more than 60 long-haul routes worldwide. As well as strong growth to South America, the airport has welcomed new direct routes to Miami, San Francisco, Kuwait City and Mexico this year. The most recent new long-haul route – to Shanghai with Air China – launched in early November. Combined with China Eastern flights, Gatwick now offers 11 weekly services to the city.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, said:“As the UK enters an important new chapter on the global stage, new links created to key markets such as South America will play a crucial role in the country’s economy and national identity.
“While we were saddened by the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, we are confident in our future prospects and look forward to easyJet and other airlines using these slots going forward.”
“A growing Gatwick means a thriving region and as the airport continues to be transformed under its new ownership – from new global connections, to improved transport links, new jobs and business opportunities – the ripple effect will be felt across all corners of our region.”
- Revenue up 5.6% to £541.3m, resulting in EBITDA up 7.9% to £350.6m and a profit after tax of £137m.
- In the six months ended 30 September 2019, 26.6 million passengers travelled through Gatwick – an increase of 0.2% or 56,803 passengers compared to the prior year. The airport serves over 46 million passengers annually.
- As well as growth in both short- and long-haul, airlines are using larger aircraft providing more seats and passengers per air traffic movement.
New airlines and routes
- The airport continues to see growth in short-haul travel of 0.8% or 149,635 passengers, with routes to Eastern Europe proving particularly popular. This follows Wizz Air’s addition of new daily services to Budapest, Gdandsk and Cluj.
- The airport also saw growth to Southern Europe of 200,000 passengers.
- New routes launched from Gatwick this year include Norwegian Airlines services to Miami, San Francisco and Rio De Janeiro; Jazeera to Kuwait City; TUI to San Jose del Cabo; and Air China to Shanghai.
- Net retail income increased by 3.6% period-on-period to £109.9m, with an increase in income per passenger of 3.3% to £4.13.
- Catering saw particularly strong income performance with growth of 11.0% to £26.3m, exceeding passenger growth and increasing income per passenger by 10.6%. This has been driven by the increased space in the South Terminal and the additions of Itsu and Joe and the Juice.
- Work continues in North Terminal on a large extension to the mezzanine level in the international departure lounge which will accommodate new food and beverage offerings in addition to providing seating space for passengers.
- Gatwick invested £124.2 million in this period, compared to £114.6m in the same period in the prior year. Major projects completed included installing new Standard 3 screening technology across the airport’s baggage halls three months ahead of the Government’s deadline.
- In August 2019, Gatwick published its new five-year Capital Investment Programme (CIP). The single biggest project to be delivered within the next five years is the Pier 6 western extension. A key piece of the enabling work for this project – relocating the airport’s A380 gate to Pier 5 – has recently been completed.
- In the autumn of 2019, Gatwick formally started the process to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use by submitting a notice to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) of its intention to prepare an application for development consent and a scoping document.
Sustainability, community and noise
- Gatwick’s Decade of Change report for 2018 (published June 2019), showed the airport has reduced its environmental footprint and developed a strong programme of support for the local economy and local communities.
- Gatwick launched a new information portal that – for the first time in Europe – offers residents bespoke information on aircraft noise that can be tailored to their postcode.
- Recycling and reuse rates hit 64%, with all empty coffee cups and plastics recycled and zero waste sent to landfill.
- Gatwick spent £128.0m with local suppliers, sponsored 52 community events and funded 162 other local causes. For more information on Gatwick’s community and sustainability activity please visit the dedicated section of our website.