Gatwick celebrates busiest ever start to financial year
London Gatwick is celebrating its busiest ever start to a financial year after seeing 12.5 million people travel through its doors from the beginning of April until the end of June.
The total number of passengers who flew from Gatwick during the first three months of the financial year represented a 1.7% increase on last year, while long-haul travel increased 2.2% compared to 2018 figures.
April to June 2019 saw the popularity of North Atlantic services boost long-haul growth, with Tampa up by 58% year-on-year, while destinations like Winnipeg, Calgary, New York and Orlando also saw significant growth during Q1.
After celebrating its first anniversary of flying from Gatwick Airport in May, Qatar Airways announced that its Doha service saw an increase in passenger numbers of 190% in Q1, resulting in the airline adding extra capacity to the route. Now, Qatar Airways flies from London Gatwick to Doha three times a day.
Other long-haul destinations which experienced considerable growth in the first three months of the 2019/2020 financial year included Colombo (up 151%) and Buenos Aires (up 58%).
The Easter school holidays saw Gatwick Airport serve its highest number of passengers, with an increase of 2.5% compared to same period last year.
During the Easter break, Gatwick passengers flocked for the European sunshine, leading to the following hotspots being more popular than ever - Bilbao saw an increase of 119.4% year-on-year; Bodrum's popularity grew by 112.9%, Budapest saw a boost of 105.8%, Mahon by 86.3% and Vienna by 73%.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said:
“Gatwick is achieving robust growth in this spring/summer period where airport capacity is already well utilised and I’m proud even in these already busy spring/summer months we have been able to achieve yet further growth. Right across all airline types, carriers are starting new routes and increasing flight frequencies.
“We have published the final version of Gatwick’s masterplan, outlining potential options for future growth enabling the airport to make more of the world’s most exciting destinations accessible to more people than ever before while boosting trade and tourism opportunities locally and nationally.”