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Gatwick set for busiest summer ever

The airport is expecting 8.8 million passengers during the school summer holidays.

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Passengers get into the Summer Festival spirit at Gatwick.

London Gatwick is gearing up for its busiest summer on record, with 8,846,000 people set to use the airport during the school holidays.

It follows a successful June at Gatwick, which saw 4.5 million passengers travelling through, with the airport’s long-haul routes growing by +26% year-on-year.

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Gatwick’s Canadian routes performed particularly well, in the month that saw world leaders visiting the country for this year’s G7 summit. Winnipeg grew by +66.3% in June, with Edmonton +28.2%, Montreal +23.8% and Calgary +13%.

Other long-haul routes that experienced significant year-on-year growth in June included Lima +29.6% and Kigali +19.9%, while emerging short-haul destinations Volos and Tallin saw passenger growth rates of +154.7% and +51.4% respectively.

The volume of cargo handled by the airport also grew strongly, up +19.4% in June as a result of Gatwick’s thriving long-haul network. The trend for long-haul travel looks set to continue this summer too, with Gatwick’s long-haul services expected to grow by +19.5% during the holidays.

The busiest summer days at Gatwick will be:

• Friday 20th July for departures (86,000 passengers)
• Sunday 2nd September for arrivals (88,400 passengers)
• Sunday 12th August overall (167,200 passengers)

Orlando remains the most popular summer long-haul destination, with Doha a new addition to the top ten list after a double-daily service to the city was launched by Qatar Airways in May.

In terms of the most popular short-haul routes, Nice joins the top ten list this year, while Barcelona remains Gatwick’s top summer short-haul destination.

This summers’ top 10 short-haul destinations

  1. Barcelona
  2. Malaga
  3. Palma de Mallorca
  4. Dublin
  5. Faro
  6. Alicante
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Madrid
  9. Milan
  10. Nice

This summers’ top 10 long-haul destinations

  1. Orlando
  2. Dubai
  3. New York
  4. Toronto
  5. Cancun
  6. Vancouver
  7. Doha
  8. Las Vegas
  9. Bridgetown
  10. Los Angeles

Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:

“Just one week after we added a 67th long-haul service to our extensive network – with the launch of the UK’s only direct flights to Chengdu with Air China – it’s fantastic to see that our long-haul routes are continuing to perform so strongly, with solid growth recorded in June.

“This follows news that £7.5 billion of international goods passed through Gatwick in 2017 – supporting 113,800 UK jobs – which really highlights the vital role the airport plays for its local community and the country as a whole. We’re currently exploring the best and most sustainable ways that Gatwick can continue to grow, in order to keep supporting the local and national economy and help Britain reap the benefits of greater global connectivity.

“In the meantime, with the summer holidays just around the corner and record numbers due to use Gatwick, we’re committed to ensuring that all of our passengers have a smooth and enjoyable experience as they travel through the airport this summer.”

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Businesses show their support for Gatwick’s growth as protesters continue their campaign

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans.

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With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans. The open letter to Stewart Wingate, the airport’s CEO, is signed by organisations including Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and sector specific associations (full list below).

In the letter the business organisations describe Gatwick as ‘a linchpin of the regional economy and a significant national asset’ that contributes ’over £5bn to UK GDP and supports 85,000 jobs.’  It goes on to say:

As the UK heads into a new chapter, Gatwick will have a vital role to play in fuelling trade, tourism and commerce, and providing links to global markets. When Gatwick thrives and grows, so too does the national and regional economy, so the airport’s growth ambitions deserve our full support.’

Clearly this growth should not be at any cost, and given our businesses and employees are based in the local communities in and around the airport, we fully understand that the impacts of expansion need to be considered and carefully managed.

‘But we believe the strength of Gatwick’s plans lies in their simplicity. By unlocking much-needed new capacity from within the airport’s existing runways and footprint, Gatwick’s growth plans are a low-impact way of delivering significant benefits.’

We are firmly in support of Gatwick’s plans which we believe will play a crucial role in allowing our businesses, our employees and our region to continue to prosper.’

The support from businesses comes one month after 75% of residents surveyed across Sussex, Surrey and Kent said that they also supported Gatwick’s growth plans, with just 14% opposing.

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“This vote of confidence in our plans for growth is particularly powerful as organisations representing over 25,000 businesses have thrown their weight behind our draft master plan. 

“Businesses know we can’t take the region’s economic growth for granted. By sending this letter they recognise the airport’s vital role in creating local jobs and opportunities, and that growing Gatwick is essential for the future prosperity of our region.

“With only a few days left I would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation to show their support for the airport’s growth plans.”

But protesters like CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) say the effect of any part of the plan would be highly detrimental for all residents.

In a recent statement they said:

“This master plan simply blights these areas again to the threat of airport expansion beyond 2030. The fact remains that Gatwick was not selected by the Airport Commission due to lack of unemployment in the surrounding counties; lack of connectivity to the rest of the UK and the world; it is predominantly used for European leisure travel.”

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