Gatwick continues to grow with passengers up 4.8% full year on year and 5.1% March, 14 on March, 13.
London Gatwick saw 2.7 million passengers use the airport in March 2014 – an increase of 5.1%, or 131,500 passengers, over the prior year. This marks the final month in a year of record growth for Gatwick.
There were nearly 1.8 million passengers on European routes – an increase of 6.1% on the prior year. A major part of this growth was on flights to business destinations such as Moscow, Istanbul, Stockholm and Copenhagen. There was also significant growth on flights to Spain, Portugal and other popular leisure destinations.
The number of passengers flying to North Atlantic destinations was down 21.7% compared to the prior year, mainly because US Airways ceased to fly from Gatwick in 2013. This summer’s launch of three new Norwegian Air Shuttle routes to the US (New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale) will help reverse the trend of lower traffic to this region.
Other long-haul growth was 13.1%, mainly on leisure routes such as the Caribbean and the Canary Islands.
A number of domestic routes have seen a growth in traffic since last March – most notably flights to Newquay, which were boosted by Gatwick’s decision to waive charges on additional flights to support the South West following the Dawlish rail line closure. Total domestic traffic was 1% below the prior year, as some routes – most notably British Airways to Manchester – did not fly in March 2014.
Load factors – showing how full the average flight was – were at 83.1%, in line with the prior year.
Overview of the 12 months ending 31 March 2014
Passenger numbers for the 12 months ending 31 March 2014 were 4.8% higher than the prior year. European routes alone accounted for 1.4m additional passengers in the year, of which more than half were on flights to Spain. The Nordic countries have also proved more popular this year, with 600,000 more passengers; and flights to Russia have also seen a significant increase, largely thanks to easyJet’s Moscow route, introduced in March 2013.
Growth was achieved through:
Airlines and routes:
• Norwegian Air Shuttle’s passenger numbers grew by over 65% in the year, offering passengers an extra 15 direct routes compared to the previous year and will fly direct to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale in the summer of 2014
• Emirates has increased its passenger presence at Gatwick by over 15% and offers a three-daily service to the key business destination of Dubai
• easyJet successfully launched its direct service to the key emerging market of Moscow and now flies to 46 of the 50 top European business destinations out of Gatwick
• Turkish Airlines saw a passenger increase of over 45% – expanding services from Gatwick to Istanbul, now serving the two main airports, Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport
• Air China was welcomed back for its planned summer season, offering passengers a four-weekly direct service to the high growth market of Beijing, China
• Gatwick welcomed its first scheduled A380 flying daily to high growth market Dubai with Emirates
• Gatwick welcomed its first ‘hub-busting’ Dreamliner in partnership with Thomson
• Gatwick announced that it will be serving Indonesia in September 2014 – adding to Vietnam, Turkey and Russia in connecting business passengers and UK plc to key emerging markets
• Gatwick completed its spend of over £1 billion Capital Investment Programme and committed to spending at least another £100 million a year for the next seven years in improving the passenger experience