UK. More than 2.4 million passengers travelled through Gatwick Airport in February, a +7.2% increase on last year which marks the 24th consecutive month-on-month passenger growth. This growth comes from fuller aircraft, with load factor at 81.8% in February.
Long-haul traffic grew by +8%, with Dubai the biggest growth route seeing passenger numbers increase by +13.6%. European scheduled services increased +9.6% over February 2014 with Paris the biggest growth destination following new services introduced by easyJet.
Compared to February last year, there are 16 additional routes in operation for February 2015. These include Paris Charles de Gaulle, Florence, New York, Warsaw, Fort Lauderdale, Kaunas, Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Strasbourg, Puerto Vallarta, Pamplona, Bodo, Tunis, Plovdiv, Luxor and Erbil International in Iraq.
Gatwick Airport Chief Executive Officer Stewart Wingate said: “Two years of consecutive month-on-month growth is a tremendous achievement and shows the benefits of greater competition and low cost travel. We are also benefitting from the huge investment we’ve made in operating the world’s most efficient single runway airport.
“But our continued growth has limits – we are now unable to meet demand across much of the year and are just a few years away from hitting full capacity,” Wingate noted, adding that the expansion of Gatwick is the “only deliverable solution to the extra capacity the UK desperately needs”.
“Creating more airport capacity in London and the South East will be one of the biggest decisions facing any new government. Expanding Gatwick would be a genuinely exciting opportunity, and help to create a choice of two world-class gateways for UK and international travellers, promoting competition to keep travel affordable for all. A new runway at Gatwick is deliverable sooner, at lower cost, and without the overwhelming environmental obstacles that face Heathrow.”
The proposed expansion is supported by new polling released earlier this month showing that small businesses and SMEs from all around the UK want Gatwick expanded. Business travel has been a key factor in Gatwick’s two years of growth with one in five passengers through the airport now travelling on business.
To mark two years of growth, Gatwick today released a new time-lapse video (below) showing “a day in the life of the world’s most efficient single runway airport”.