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Gatwick passengers opt for Stateside breaks on busiest-ever Bank Holiday weekend

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 631,000 passengers to travel through Gatwick this weekend, with 304,000 departing passengers expected

·         14% rise in long-haul passengers compared with last year’s August Bank Holiday weekend

·         Three of the 10 biggest-growing long-haul routes are to the US – Oakland +124.8%, New York +54.9% and Los Angeles +28.9% on last year

 

More Brits are planning to spend this year’s August Bank Holiday weekend in the US according to figures released by Gatwick Airport, as thousands take advantage of the extra day off to pay a flying visit to popular destinations across the pond.

The number of long-haul passengers departing from Gatwick across the weekend has increased significantly, up 14% year-on-year. Several American cities are in the airport’s top ten biggest-growing long-haul destinations this Bank Holiday, with the number of passengers travelling to Oakland, New York and Los Angeles throughout the holiday weekend rising by 124.8%, 54.9% and 28.9% respectively, compared with 2016.

Although just outside the top ten, Gatwick’s 11th biggest-growing long-haul route, Boston, is also fast becoming a Bank Holiday favourite, +16.2% on the same weekend last year. While transatlantic destinations are proving more attractive than ever, Gatwick passengers are also opting for Dubai for their quick long-haul Bank Holiday break – the city will be the most popular long-haul destination this weekend, up 10.7% year-on-year.

631,000 passengers in total are expected to travel through Gatwick across the weekend – an increase of 0.9% on last year – making it the airport’s busiest Bank Holiday weekend on record.

Shorter breaks are now particularly popular among British holidaymakers, according to Gatwick figures, with just under a third of the airport’s leisure passengers (31.9%) heading off on four-day trips – with the figure peaking at 38% during last year’s August Bank Holiday weekend.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airline Relations Stephen King said:

“As more American destinations are added to our growing long-haul route network, it’s clear that passengers are making the most of it with thousands heading across the pond for the Bank Holiday weekend. Later this year we’re set to give our passengers even more choice with the launch of new routes to Denver, Seattle, Austin and Chicago.

 

“Gatwick is already the world’s busiest single-runway airport and we are exploring new and innovative ways to make best use of our existing facilities so we can continue to forge new connections and increase Britain’s global connectivity when it’s needed most.

 

“Our August Bank Holiday figures demonstrate that, while we continue to provide new services for our growing number of passengers, we are also keen to expand. We stand ready to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the Government give us the green light.”

 

Top ten biggest-growing August Bank Holiday long-haul destinations

·         Kingston

·         Oakland, San Francisco

·         Punta Cana

·         Lima

·         New York

·         Cape Verde

·         Hurghada

·         Los Angeles

·         Providenciales

·         Tobago

 

Top ten biggest-growing August Bank Holiday short-haul destinations

·         Ljubljana

·         Pristina

·         Varna

·         Brindisi

·         Kos

·         Algiers

·         Cork

·         Tunis

·         Florence

·         Lisbon

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Gatwick

Gatwick launches UK’s first electric car sharing service

The 100% electric vehicles produce zero emissions which supports Gatwick’s carbon neutral status.

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Ten 'Blue City' electric cars on Gatwick's airfield.

In a UK airport first, passengers, staff and local residents can now reserve and pick up a 100% electric car at Gatwick – and return it to any of 300 compatible pick up/ drop off points across London or back at Gatwick – the airport announced yesterday.

The service – similar to schemes popular in other parts of the world – is being rolled out in partnership with Bluecity, the only company to operate a pan-London electric vehicle car sharing service with 100 cars currently available in total.

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Discussions are also ongoing with local authorities and business groups about expanding the network further in London and in areas surrounding the airport.

Operating in a similar way to existing cycle schemes across the capital, ten cars and charging points are currently available on Gatwick’s South Terminal forecourt. This is Bluecity’s first airport hub and discussions are in progress to increase capacity.

The new point to point service gives people using the airport a convenient, zero emissions travel option for getting directly on and off the airport and is purposely designed to be easy to locate and use, with customers able to reserve a car in seconds via the Bluecity app.

Local residents are also encouraged to use the service and Gatwick staff have also been offered the opportunity to trial the service for free.

A standard journey in a Bluecity car from central London is also an affordable travel option to the airport. The four-seater’s drive from Central London to the very front of the airport will cost around £15 in moderate traffic.

The service is also flexible and works both ways, so that those travelling to Gatwick from the capital can pick up a car at any of the London-based charging points and drop it off at the airport.

Car sharing is also growing in popularity in the UK and this new partnership represents another first in Gatwick’s journey to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. Gatwick is accredited as a carbon neutral airport, uses 100% renewable electricity and 44% of passengers currently get to the airport by public transport.

The 24,000 staff on Gatwick’s airport campus and local residents are also being encouraged to use the new electric car sharing service.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said:

“Gatwick leads the way on airport innovation and this UK airport first not only offers a new, flexible option for getting on and off the airport, it also improves air quality.

“When it comes to electric car sharing schemes, few companies have experienced the success of Bluecity and its parent company. Given the popular demand for similar electric car sharing services in other parts of the world, this new service has the potential to take off in the UK and we are proud to be at the forefront of this transport revolution.”

Bluecity’s Managing Director Christophe Arnaud said:

“We are particularly proud of this milestone agreement with Gatwick Airport and look forward to our collaboration for years to come. We believe this new service is a fantastic solution for travellers. Our cars are powered exclusively with 100% renewable energy making the service the greenest and most affordable transport option to and from Central London.”

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