Gatwick says it is the ‘best and only’ choice for expansion

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate

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Gatwick Airport Ltd publishes its results for the full year ending March 31, 2015

The company said the figures show ‘exceptional growth’ and establish that ‘the airport is the best and only deliverable choice for the UK’s next runway’.

CEO Stewart Wingate said today’s results show why momentum and support has grown rapidly for Gatwick where a new runway can be delivered quicker, cheaper, more simply and at a fraction of the overwhelming environmental costs that face Heathrow.

“As a recommendation draws near from the Airports Commission on where the UK’s next runway should be built, our record growth has shown why Gatwick remains the best choice,” he said.

“Gatwick expansion will deliver more passengers to more destinations and provide the economic boost the UK needs at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow.

“Our results are the latest illustration of the momentum gathering behind Gatwick’s case. We have seen a great response from our passengers to new Norwegian long haul services to the USA which has resulted in impressive growth for these new routes. The choice and value offered to our passengers is set to further increase next year as we add low cost long haul travel to Canada with Westjet.

“The time is right for a decision on expansion. Gatwick is fast approaching capacity with almost 40 million passengers travelling with us this year, which puts us a decade ahead of Department of Transport predictions.

“Our plan requires no taxpayer funding, can be delivered quickly, and would enhance competition - the UK will benefit from a strong network of competing airports which will keep fares low while boosting service and innovation.”

Points from the results:

Unprecedented growth

· Turnover up 7.5 per cent to £638m. Combined with carefully controlled cost management, this resulted in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) up 13.2 per cent to £293.7m and a profit before tax of £83.8m

· Gatwick has seen the busiest year in the airport’s history with 38.7 million passengers, an increase of 7.8 per cent or 2.8 million passengers

· The year included one day of 906 air traffic movements in August – a world record for a single-runway airport, achieved by increased operational efficiency

· Gatwick’s growth is a combination of more planes, bigger planes and fuller planes – average load factors have increased to 83.9 per cent

New airlines and routes

· Growth across a broad range of travel markets with long-haul traffic, European business routes and emerging markets combining to fuel a record-breaking year

· Several airlines have increased frequencies on European routes and introduced new destinations, underlining that Europe will continue to be the most dominant market for London airports

· A series of new European business routes have been added including Strasbourg, Brussels and Paris with Gatwick now serving 46 of the top 50 EU business destinations and 1 in 5 passengers now travelling on business

· Norwegian’s ground-breaking new low cost services to USA have been a catalyst for long haul growth, contributing to a 13.3 per cent increase on USA routes

· New and existing routes to emerging markets have also fed into overall long-haul growth including Turkey, Russia and Indonesia along with long haul growth to the Middle East with increased capacity on Dubai routes and new services to Israel

Investment

· Lighter regulation endorsed by the CAA is now in place using Gatwick’s industry-leading ‘Commitments and Contracts’ framework – this has allowed Gatwick to enter into commercial bilateral agreements with all of its major airlines

· Gatwick’s £1 billion investment programme continues with £180.7 million pounds invested over the last 12 months including development of Pier 1 and Pier 5

· Major improvements to North and South Terminal departure lounges and retail facilities have contributed to a 10.4 per cent increase in retail income with retail income per passenger rising to £3.81