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Gatwick welcomes new routes and more seats as Winter approaches

London Gatwick today announces this winter’s most sought-after global cities, revealing its top 10 fastest growing destinations, and which brand-new destinations will be served with direct flights.



London Gatwick today announces this winter’s most sought-after global cities, revealing its top 10 fastest growing destinations, and which brand-new destinations will be served with direct flights.

Destinations outside of Europe which can be found on the airport’s top 10 fastest-growing route list include China’s biggest city and global financial centre Shanghai, and the Moroccan port city of Tangier, which have risen by 416% and 50% respectively. Incumbent carrier China Eastern Airlines will increase its flights from three times weekly to daily this winter, just as Air China begins its four times weekly operation from the Chinese city in November. 

A stampede of visitors to North America is also expected from Gatwick this winter, as Calgary in Canada also features inside the top 10, with seats up by 50%, while Jordan’s only coastal city Aqaba is +106% and Turkey’s capital Ankara +91%.

The top ten list also reveals heightened passenger demand for destinations closer to home, reflecting Gatwick’s yet further appeal for business traffic and city breaks. This winter, travellers looking to trade in commercial cities like Düsseldorf (+221%) and Paris (+24%), just outside the top 10, can now conduct their business more easily as a result of extra seats to these markets. Culture vultures and gastro tourists alike will equally welcome the increased capacity to Budapest (+90%), Bilbao (+82%) Dubrovnik (+59%) or Krakow (+37%), giving city-breakers greater choice this winter from Gatwick.

New flights launched earlier in the year which are also available this winter include Miami and San Francisco in the USA, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Milan Bergamo and Ancona in Italy, Asturias in Spain, as well as Gdansk and Cluj-Napoca in Eastern Europe. Served 14 times weekly last winter, Doha will be operated 18 times weekly by Qatar Airways this winter season.

As passengers’ travel appetites become more diverse, Gatwick is helping to cater for this segmenting demand by preparing to add three more destinations to its network this winter.

New Route                                         Frequency                              Airline

Kuwait City, Kuwait                             Daily flights                             Jazeera Airways

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico               Two flights per week               TUI Airways

Memmingen, Germany                      Weekly flights                          TUI Airways

Gatwick, which offers more destinations than any other UK airport, is also Europe’s ninth busiest airport. With close to 9.5 million departing seats on sale this winter, including over 600,000 during half-term, the airport is ideally placed to divulge which are the most-wanted destinations for UK travellers.  

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, Gatwick Airport said:

“The appetite for new destinations and extra seats continues unabated at Gatwick, even as we near 47 million passengers annually. Unveiling yet more carriers and routes this winter shows airlines are growing well as passengers respond to the new choices available.

“This winter I’m delighted that once again we have new airlines joining Gatwick alongside a wealth of carriers growing capacity. Whether it’s new carriers like Jazeera Airways, which has chosen Gatwick as its first destination in Western Europe, additional capacity to China or existing airlines growing their seat offer, this winter is great news for passengers looking for something fresh and exciting or returning to a favourite destination.”


New COVID-19 screening service launches at Gatwick Airport



Gatwick Airport andExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Limited) has today announced the opening of a brand-new COVID-19 screening centre. 

The site, located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal, will offer a fast and accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test.  It will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, from Monday, 30th November.  

The facility is for air passengers who may require a valid, negative COVID-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel, with passengers needing to check with travel providers that the test meets the specific requirements destinations ask for. 

It will also help those who may simply want extra assurance that they are not currently carrying the virus. 

The facility could also, with any necessary amendments, satisfy requirements of the Government’s expected “test and release” post arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations.  Anyone with recognisable COVID-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility. 

Air passengers and any employees based at Gatwick Airport will be charged a subsidised rate of £60 to use the screening service, whilst it will also be available for the general public for £99. 

A group discount is also offered, with up to 30% off for groups of four or more, for those who are having the full priced test.

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

“Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year.  Our new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance.  We are pleased to be subsidising the price for our passengers and any staff based at Gatwick so they are compliant with current destination requirements that many of airlines including easyJet, British Airways and TUI fly to.

“Our industry has been decimated by the pandemic and, while we welcome the anticipated  “test and release” scheme from the Government, we want to see an internationally agreed pre-departure testing regime, based on existing risk criteria, to replace the current uncertainty of quarantine and patchwork of testing approaches which currently exists across Europe.  A truly international approach would safely open up most of the UK’s travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus.”

ExpressTest Founder Nick Markham said:

“We are delighted to be Gatwick airport’s official screening partner.  We launched ExpressTest to give people peace of mind, whether that’s enabling

travel through our Fit to Fly certificates, or providing the reassurance needed to safely visit friends and family abroad or within the UK.  In the next couple of months we aim to have more than 30 locations operating across the UK, with the ambition of giving the British public the confidence to go about their daily lives in these uncertain times.” 

According to a press release, ExpressTest is delivered using the latest gold standard PCR equipment that is fully CE-IVD certified and manufactured to the highest possible standards, and tests are carried out by specially trained screening practitioners.  

The lab-analysed test results will be emailed or texted to customers typically the next day, with airline passengers advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure time, as a precaution.  Those who screen negative will be emailed a Fit to Fly certificate that is authorised by a doctor, along with their test result, however passengers will be responsible for checking with their travel provider as to whether this document is accepted before booking the screening service. 

Bookings open from Friday, 27th November, with the first test available on Monday, 30th November.

To book a test, people will need to visit and select a date and time.  Customers will then be sent a QR code which they must bring with them to their appointment, along with their passport or employee ID. 

Payment will be taken during the booking process. 

Opening hours are 08.00 to 20.00 and customers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to appointments.

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