London Gatwick has continued to lay the groundwork for expansion following its busiest ever November – 2.6 million passengers travelled through the airport, +7.3% on the previous year.
The Government has made clear that it will choose between Gatwick and Heathrow expansion in the summer. It has become obvious that there is only one choice that can be made: get on with growth at Gatwick or consign the UK to years of delay and inertia in pursuit of an illegal scheme at Heathrow which will never happen.
Destinations contributing to this growth include North Atlantic routes +9.7% overall including Toronto +37% year on year.
Long-haul routes at the airport are set to further increase in 2016 as Cathay Pacific launches a new route Gatwick to Hong Kong, a premier gateway to the Far East for both business and leisure.
Long haul winter sun routes performed particularly well this month with Jamaica +14.2% year on year, Barbados +15.5% and Trinidad +12.8%. November also saw Norwegian Air Shuttle’s new Puerto Rico service commence from Gatwick, the UK’s only direct route to the island.
An additional 178,253 passengers travelled through Gatwick in November compared to the same month in 2014. Passenger growth is the result of more air traffic movements per hour and larger aircraft being used on average across the airlines. Average load factors were consistently strong at 81.5%.
Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said:
“Britain has a clear choice on airport expansion: get on with growth at Gatwick or yet more delays and inertia with an illegal Heathrow scheme that continues to stall.
“This decision has always been about balancing the economic benefits of expansion with the impact on the environment. The simple facts show that Gatwick expansion would give the country the economic benefit it needs at a dramatically lower environmental cost.
“With 12 new long-haul routes starting in 2016 and significant growth across all sectors, from both existing and new airlines, it is clear why expansion at Gatwick needs to go ahead now.
“Last week, Cathay Pacific announced it will start Hong Kong services which will directly link Gatwick to a premier gateway to the Far East for both business and leisure. Plus, WestJet’s four times daily Gatwick to Canada services are an impressive endorsement of Gatwick being the airport of choice for additional long-haul routes serving the UK.”