· Over 1.3 million passengers travelling through Gatwick during half-term week, +3.5% on last year
· Long-haul traffic up 21.7% as more holidaymakers head further afield
· Three of the 10 biggest-growing long-haul routes are to the Caribbean – St. Lucia +197%, Kingston +68% and Punta Cana +48% on 2016
More Brits than ever before will travel to transatlantic destinations for the October half-term break, as forecasts by Gatwick Airport predict thousands are planning to take advantage of the growing number of low-cost long-haul flight options on offer.
Gatwick’s long-haul traffic is set to rise by 21.7% this half-term, compared with the same period in 2016. One in five October half-term passengers will travel on long-haul routes.
Destinations in the Caribbean and Florida will see the biggest boosts in popularity, with St. Lucia and Fort Lauderdale the two largest-growing long-haul routes, up 197% and 181% year-on-year. Kingston, Jamaica (+68%) and Punta Cana (+48%) also feature in Gatwick’s top ten biggest-growing long-haul routes for the half-term break.
US and Canadian city breaks are on the rise too, with Oakland, San Francisco up 163% and Vancouver up 101% on 2016. Established holiday favourites New York and Los Angeles also continue to be popular half-term choices, +56% and +54% respectively.
Gatwick’s substantial long-haul growth during the half-term break comes just weeks after Norwegian launched the world’s longest low-cost route to Singapore from the airport, bringing Gatwick’s long-haul network to more than 60 routes.
For those passengers opting to stay a little closer to home for half-term, the Greek islands will see a big surge in popularity. Mikonos and Zakynthos both feature in Gatwick’s top ten biggest-growing short-haul routes for the week – with increases of 131% and 121% respectively – alongside Kos (+115%) and Kefallinia (+78%).
Gatwick’s Head of Airline Relations Stephen King said:
“The significant rise in long-haul traffic at Gatwick means we are set to experience the busiest October half-term in our history. Gatwick now offers more than 60 long-haul routes and, with the growing number of low-cost long-haul destinations that we serve, our passengers are finding it easier than ever to travel further afield – with their budgets also going further.
“Britain’s global connectivity has never been more important and that’s why Gatwick, already the world’s busiest single-runway airport, continues to add vital new connections to the world. In the next few months alone, new long-haul connections to Austin, Chicago, Taipei and Buenos Aires will begin as we look forward to providing passengers with even greater choice in long-haul destinations.”
Top ten biggest-growing long-haul routes during October half-term
1. St. Lucia +197%
2. Fort Lauderdale +181%
3. Oakland, San Francisco +163%
4. Montreal +114%
5. Vancouver +101%
6. Kingston +68%
7. Cape Verde +67%
8. New York +56%
9. Los Angeles +54%
10. Punta Cana +48%
Top ten biggest-growing short-haul routes during October half-term
1. Mikonos +131%
2. Zakynthos +121%
3. Tivat +118%
4. Kos +115%
5. Hurghada +110%
6. Santiago de Compostela +99%
7. Kefallinia +78%
8. Casablanca +69%
9. Olbia +66%
10. Pula +61%
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