The airport’s long-haul connections continue to grow and were +12.4% in the month whilst Gatwick’s cargo tonnage grew +1.6%.
North Atlantic routes proved particularly popular +15.4% on last year. Boston was up +67.9%, on last October, due to Norwegian adding to their previous five times weekly service with a now daily service to the city this autumn / winter.
Further afield, passengers travelling to Singapore were +30% higher than the same month last year. Gatwick will be further catering to passenger demand for connections to Asia, with the airport starting a new thrice weekly service to Shanghai with China Eastern airlines in December 2018. This adds to Gatwick’s growing route network to this region, which already includes Hong Kong, Chengdu and Taipei.
Closer to home, UK passengers jetted off for winter sun with Turkey and North Africa being the destinations of choice. Passengers to Antalya were +44.5% higher than last year while passengers to Dalaman were +28.6%. Meanwhile, passengers to Fez, Casablanca and Tunis grew by +146.8%, +34.8% and 23.8% respectively.
This October, Gatwick Airport published its draft master plan, setting out the airport’s vision for its future. The draft master plan considers how Gatwick could grow across three scenarios, looking ahead to the early 2030s:
1. Main runway – using new technology to increase capacity
In the near term, the airport has considered how deploying new technology could increase the capacity of the main runway, offering incremental growth through more efficient operations.
2. Standby runway – bringing existing standby runway into routine use
The draft master plan sets out for the first time how Gatwick could potentially bring its existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s.
3. Additional runway – safeguarding for the future
While Gatwick is not currently actively pursuing the option of building a brand new runway to the south of the airport – as it did through the Airports Commission process – Gatwick believes it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future as part of its draft master plan.
The airport is now keen to encourage responses to a 12-week public consultation it has launched to gather feedback and views on the draft master plan. The consultation is live until 5pm on 10 January 2019 and can be completed at www.gatwickairport.com/masterplan2018 All responses will be reviewed before a final version of the master plan is agreed next year.
London Gatwick, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:
“Gatwick continues to showcase the vital role it plays for the country, with October’s passenger figures the latest demonstration of this. Last month saw over four million passengers travel through the airport – the first time Gatwick has broken this mark in October – demonstrating the passenger response to the breadth of destinations and airlines available from the airport.
“Gatwick’s growth is vital for the future prosperity of Britain and the country’s post-Brexit future – and our growing global connections are needed more than ever. This December our latest long-haul route will begin, as we open up yet further connections to Asia, with China Eastern starting their new service to Shanghai.
“To further enable Gatwick’s global connectivity, this October, we published the airport’s draft master plan, setting out our vision for growth to the 2030s. We are now seeking feedback from the public, including our local neighbours and our airport partners on this draft master plan, as we seek to fulfil our role for the country, in the most sustainable way.”
|Month||Moving Annual Total|
|Total terminal passengers (000s)||4,017.2||3,936.6||2.0%||45,924.2||45,454.6||1.0%|
|UK + Channel Islands||332.2||366.4||(9.3)%||3,735.6||4,133.2||(9.6)%|
|Other long haul||348.5||318.8||9.3%||4,604.1||4,070.6||13.1%|
|Air transport movements||25,069||25,107||(0.2)%||283,164||286,387||(1.1)%|
|Cargo (metric tonnes)||10,481||10,316||1.6%||112,735||92,495||21.9%|
Recording-breaking start to 2019 for Gatwick
London Gatwick has achieved its busiest-ever start to a year, as passenger numbers grew by +4.0% in Q4, compared to 2018, as 9.7 million passengers travelled through in the first three months of 2019.
Long-haul growth was also strong in Q4, up +7.5%. This contributed to another month of healthy cargo growth, +7.2% quarter on quarter.
North Atlantic routes drove this busiest-ever start to a calendar year +15.3% on Q4 2018. Responding to this transatlantic demand, Virgin Atlantic and Delta have announced plans to grow at Gatwick – with new routes to Boston Logan and New York JFK from summer 2020 – adding to Gatwick’s over 250 flights each week to the USA.
It comes as Gatwick welcomed more passengers than ever during February half-term. 1.2 million passengers travelled through the airport between 15th and 24th February and an increase of +7% on the equivalent week last year.
Gatwick passengers are increasingly looking to go further afield at half-term with long-haul destinations up nearly 20% for the holiday period, as 1 in 6 Gatwick passengers are currently travelling to long-haul destinations. Popular long-haul half-term destinations include Dubai and Bridgetown joining short haul favourites Dublin, Barcelona and Geneva.
February also saw the start of easyJet’s new Dusseldorf service, which operates 11 times per week to the business and leisure destination, and is the fifth new route from the airline at Gatwick in recent months, joining Aqaba, Rovaniemi, Warsaw and Aarhus. This follows the addition of a new service to the Turkish capital, Ankara, from Turkish Airlines in January as the number of capital cities served by Gatwick now stands at 50.
In the three month period, domestic routes to Isle of Man and Glasgow saw growth of +9.0% and +5.0%, respectively. Meanwhile passengers using GatwickConnects, the airport’s service which enables passengers to book connecting flights via Gatwick, increased +80% from Edinburgh, +58% from Jersey and +50% from Belfast in Q4.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said:
“Gatwick’s year has started as we mean the rest of 2019 to go on. Our pioneering spirit at the airport is driving for success in both the short and long term.
“In the immediate period, we continue to innovate, enabling new and established airlines to grow to all parts of the world – including most recently a new service to Rio de Janeiro.
“Looking ahead to further opportunities, we will publish the final version of Gatwick’s masterplan later this year, outlining potential options for future growth.’