Gatwick Airport sets new world records and announces biggest-ever annual development investment of £250m

Gatwick Airport today reinforced the vital role it plays in the local, regional and national economy as it announced its biggest-ever annual investment in development projects at the airport.

The investment of £250 million for the forthcoming financial year is part of the airport’s £1.2 billion transformative capital investment plan to be spent over five years on projects including:

  • Expansion of both North and South Terminal departure lounges and shopping facilities
  • A transformed railway station working in conjunction with Network Rail and more on-airport parking, and
  • Strengthened operational resilience with additional pier capacity and optimisation of the airfield

Today’s results show that Gatwick continues to further increase its lead as the World’s busiest single-runway airport, with passenger numbers +6.3% on last year.

Long-haul routes grew 21%, versus the same six months last year, with North Atlantic routes +40% on the previous year, as WestJet’s new routes to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, St John’s started. Meanwhile, Norwegian started a new route Oakland San Francisco which contributed to a more than doubling of their passengers from Gatwick.

Gatwick’s vital role within the UK economy was demonstrated by growth on domestic routes of +7%, as passengers took advantage of the regional services available from the London airport best connected to the rest of the UK.

Already the second half of this financial year has seen new connections to business destinations including Hong Kong and Moscow start. While some of the routes already announced for upcoming months include Thomas Cook’s route to Cape Town and Tianjin Airlines’ service to Xian, China, the UK’s only direct route to the home of the Terracotta Army.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, said:

“Gatwick represents the changing face of aviation – demonstrated by today’s results. We continue to grow strongly breaking records as passengers respond to the variety on offer at the airport, low-cost, charter airlines and full services airlines. All now flying more passengers on more flights to more global destinations than ever.

“Our long-haul routes have grown 21% with the very latest of these British Airways’ new route to Cape Town starting today. Meanwhile, next summer Gatwick will start the UK’s only direct route to Xi’an China – home of the Terracotta Army.

“This year destinations in China, Peru, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, as well as the US have been added to the airport’s line-up of long-haul routes whilst The Airport Council International have recognised that Gatwick is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates Gatwick’s ongoing commitment to our development and growth, maintaining our vital role within the UK economy as we continue to offer the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”

Unprecedented growth

  • Revenue up 8.1% to £445.2 million. Combined with carefully controlled cost management, this resulted in EBITDA up 9.8% to £264.5 million and a profit before tax of £116.0 million
  • The six month period to the end of September 2016 was the busiest in Gatwick’s history with 25 million passengers, an increase of 6.3% or 1.5 million passengers, as the airport further increases its lead as the World’s busiest single runway airport. This includes the two busiest months in Gatwick’s history – July (4.6 million passengers) and August (4.8 million passengers)
  • The last year has also been the busiest year in Gatwick’s history with 42.3 million passengers in the twelve months to the end of September 2016

New airlines and routes

    • Growth across a broad range of travel markets with long-haul traffic, European business routes and destinations in Asia combining to fuel a record-breaking year
    • Recently commenced services from Gatwick include:
      • WestJet to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and St John’s (28 weekly flights)
      • Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong
      • Norwegian to Oakland San Francisco
      • Norwegian to Las Vegas
    • New announced routes from Gatwick include:
      • Tianjin Airlines to Xi’an, providing the UK’s only direct route to the city home of the Terracotta Army
      • British Airways to Oakland San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale
      • Thomas Cook to Cape Town

Airline Moves

    • In January 2017 three of Gatwick’s major carriers will move terminals. British Airways will move to the South Terminal, Virgin Atlantic will move to the North Terminal, and easyJet, which currently operates out of both terminals, will consolidate its operation in the North Terminal.
    • Airline Moves is an essential part of Gatwick’s strategic transformation programme.  Having its biggest airlines located in the right positions for growth, will in turn drive growth for the airport.  In addition, having airlines operating out of single terminals makes operational sense, driving efficiency and enhancing passenger experience.