Gatwick smashes 45 million passenger milestone

Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport has chalked up another record, smashing through the 45 million annual passengers milestone.

It has today (June 29) published its results for the year ended 31 March 2017.

Gatwick has also just completed the biggest year of investment in the airport’s history.

A statement on its website says that “The airport’s annual results published today are the latest demonstration of Gatwick’s impressive growth record with 44.1 million passengers passing through the airport in 2016/17 - an increase of 3.2 million passengers or 7.7%.

“This growth has been matched by record levels of service for our passengers with customer satisfaction and advocacy at an all-time high.

“Long-haul continues to be a success story with routes growing 13.6% and now represent one in five of Gatwick’s passengers.

“As capacity issues become a challenge, Gatwick will continue to see considerable growth in passenger numbers as airlines swap short haul for long haul services.

“Norwegian’s new route to Buenos Aires using a B787 Dreamliner, for instance, will replace a short haul European service in Gatwick’s schedule.

“Gatwick is due to welcome the world’s longest low-cost long-haul route - to Singapore - this September. North Atlantic routes were up 38.7%, with the two new routes launched by Norwegian in the year, Las Vegas and Oakland, San Francisco, contributing to this growth.

“Norwegian are set to further increase their US routes from Gatwick with Denver and Seattle starting September 2017 and a further direct route to Buenos Aires starts in February. Meanwhile, China Airlines will be adding to “Gatwick’s Asia routes and starting a new service to Taipei in December 2017, bringing Gatwick’s total long-haul routes to 60.”

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, said: “It has been another record-breaking year and another chapter in the transformation of Gatwick. Our continued growth and success is a testament to record investment, increased competition, and our renewed focus on efficiency and service. It is a simple fact that, of the top 20 airports in the world by passenger growth, Gatwick is the only one with a single runway. We continue to offer the UK a financeable and deliverable second runway scheme which we stand ready to deliver should the Government give us the go-ahead.

“Our world record passenger numbers and increased long haul connectivity has been matched by a transformed airport experience which our passengers have recognised by giving us all-time high service quality results. We have, this week, broken through the 45 million annual passengers mark which is 13 million passengers a year more than we served in 2009 when Gatwick came into independent ownership.

“Gatwick has a bright future – we will invest £240 million this year as we continue our £2.5 billion programme to improve our facilities, improve our service and passenger experience, and improve our performance so we can realise our ambitious plans to grow even further.”

The report comes days after the BBC claimed Gatwick had the biggest proportion of flights delayed by 30 minutes or more with around a third of international departures affected.

However, a Gatwick spokesperson said that many of the delays were outside Gatwick’s control, including repeated strike action on the continent over recent years and heavily congested airspace above parts of Europe and London.