Saturday, October 21, 2017, 8:37 am

UK’s Gatwick airport achieves record 43mn passengers in 2016

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LONDON: Gatwick Airport has increased its lead as the world’s most efficient single-runway airport – with 43 million passengers now travelling through the airport each year.

This new annual record came on, 22 December 2016, a month in which the airport achieved 3.1 million passengers, +15% on December last year.

The airport’s booming long-haul services grew by +26.8% continuing to demonstrate that Gatwick can connect Britain to important growth markets when these links have never been more crucial. Indeed, as a result of this increase in long-haul services, Gatwick’s cargo increased +13.3% in metric tonnage.

Today, at the start of the New Year, Gatwick Airport has released its biggest growing destinations during 2016.

Holiday-makers have been inspired by Prince Harry’s travels with Toronto being the long-haul destination with the biggest passenger increase, 191,124 passengers (+97%) in 2016, versus the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Game of Thrones effect is well and truly established as Belfast International saw the biggest increase in passenger numbers, an increase of 388,486 passengers (+83%), versus 2015.

In 2017 the airport forecasts that the most popular long-haul destinations will include Barbados, Dubai, Jamaica, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and Vancouver, whilst in short-haul Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Barcelona and Venice will occupy the top spots.

Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said: “Three million more passengers are travelling through the airport this year versus the same time last year, with 43 million passengers now passing through the airport annually. A figure that puts us 14 years ahead of industry predictions. This milestone is an impressive conclusion to 2016, the year that saw the 80th anniversary of the very first flight from Gatwick.

“Gatwick’s booming long-haul services and increased cargo volumes illustrate the vital contribution the airport continues to make to the local and national economy, in the airport’s busiest-ever December, as we continue to offer the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”

  • This December, long-haul growth continues to rocket, +26.8% on last year
  • This long-haul growth has driven a cargo increase of +13.3%
  • North Atlantic routes drove this long-haul growth +59.6% on this time last year with Toronto +131%, New York +105% and Los Angeles +89%
  • UK and Channel Islands routes grew +19% with Belfast International +132%, Newquay +50%, Isle of Man +21% and Inverness +17%
  • In December, there was a clear split in destination choices with passengers opting for either very cool or very hot climes. Wintery destinations proving popular include Rovaniemi, Finland +66%, Keflavik, Iceland +51% and Kuusamo, Finland +50%.
  • Meanwhile, Winter Sun destinations achieving significant increases include Santa Cruz De La Palma, Canary Islands +78% along with St Lucia +61% and Providenciales Turks and Caicos Islands +40%.

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