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Gatwick celebrates strong Chinese route growth

gatwick airport terminal

Gatwick Airport recorded a 6.1% year-on-year rise in passengers travelling to China in July marking the first anniversary of the airport’s routes to Chinese destinations Tianjin and Chongqing. The growth comes as Gatwick continues to focus on developing the airport’s connectivity with Asia, with flights to Taipei and Singapore also set to launch later this year.

Overall passenger numbers rose for a 53rd consecutive month in July as 4.7 million passengers travelled through the airport – up 2.4% – making it the busiest July in Gatwick’s history. Gatwick’s growth has also been recognised by the Airports Council International Europe, who today announced Gatwick as a top five airport in Europe for passenger growth, with passenger numbers +9.4% in the first half of 2017.

The record July was a result of Gatwick’s rising long-haul traffic served by larger aircraft, with the number of passengers travelling to long-haul destinations increasing by 10.7% compared to July 2016. Gatwick’s cargo, +20.4% year-on-year, also continues to benefit from the airport’s long-haul growth. 

Destinations in California are among Gatwick’s biggest growing routes and are proving to be the summer holiday destinations of choice for many Brits this year. Oakland and Los Angeles are up 210.6% and 47.5% on 2016 respectively.

Gatwick passengers will soon have even more transatlantic destinations to choose from too, with Norwegian’s direct flights to Denver and Seattle taking off from September, and the airline’s recently announced routes to Austin, Chicago and Buenos Aires launching early next year.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said, “Gatwick’s passenger numbers for July clearly illustrate the important and growing role Gatwick is playing in bringing Britain and Asia closer together. As the demand for travel to and from East Asia continues to rise, Gatwick has responded by adding exciting new destinations such as Taipei and Singapore to our rapidly expanding network of over 60 long-haul routes.

“The £1.15 billion set to be invested at Gatwick over the next five years will revolutionise our facilities and transform the airport experience for our passengers, ultimately paving the way for increased connections, including to China – one of our key ambitions for the near future.

“As we approach the halfway mark of our busiest summer on record, it’s clear that Gatwick is thriving and growing at an unprecedented rate. Gatwick is already the world’s busiest single-runway airport and we are exploring new and innovative ways to make best use of our existing facilities so we can continue to forge new connections and increase Britain’s global connectivity when it’s needed most.

 “While we continue to provide new services for our growing number of passengers, we are also keen to expand and stand ready to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the Government give us the green light.”

  Month Moving Annual Total
      Growth Aug-16 Aug-15 Growth
  Jul-17 Jul-16 (%) Jul-17 Jul-16 (%)
Total terminal passengers (000s) 4,749.5 4,637.8 2.4% 45,183.2 41,888.7 7.9%
Market Analysis:            
UK + Channel Islands 363.7 352.0 3.3% 4,101.1 3,723.0 10.2%
Ireland 146.9 146.7 0.1% 1,683.5 1,529.2 10.1%
European scheduled 3,266.5 3,234.5 1.0% 29,259.2 27,758.6 5.4%
European charter 272.0 271.5 0.2% 3,115.4 2,998.6 3.9%
North Atlantic 350.4 319.4 9.7% 3,028.8 2,260.7 34.0%
Other long haul 350.0 313.6 11.6% 3,995.2 3,618.6 10.4%
Air transport movements 28,067 27,835 0.8% 286,361 274,660 4.3%
Cargo (metric tonnes) 7,865 6,534 20.4% 86,544 73,096 18.4%


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