Gatwick set for busiest-ever October half-term as long-haul traffic soars

·         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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