The flight before Christmas: Gatwick Airport predicts record festive season as Christmas getaway begins

  • 2.1 million passengers to journey through London Gatwick this festive period
  • Passengers heading off to Lapland set to double this Christmas break
  • Christmas Day passengers +6% on last year

Data from London Gatwick has today revealed Friday 22 December will be the airport’s busiest Christmas season departure day, with passengers set to take advantage of the long Christmas weekend.

More than two million passengers will pass through Gatwick Airport during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, with almost 67,000 of those expected to jet-off on 22 December.

More passengers will also be taking to the skies on Christmas Day itself, with the number of departures on 25 December up 6% on last year. The festive period is expected to be the busiest on record for the airport.

Travellers to San Francisco taking advantage of Gatwick’s Oakland service have made this the biggest growing long-haul destination, +122.6% on the Christmas period last year. St Lucia and Fort Lauderdale are in second and third places respectively.

Christmas passengers jetting off to Ivalo have more than doubled with the Lapland destination the airport’s biggest growing short haul destination this holiday.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said:

“Every Christmas we welcome millions of people through Gatwick Airport but this festive season is set to be our biggest ever. We’re excited to be part of these journeys and our staff will be on hand to make their experiences as seamless as ever and make sure their breaks get off to an enjoyable start.

“It has been an amazing year and we’re looking forward to 2018 and what it will bring for all of those working at and travelling through Gatwick Airport.”