Last month saw London Gatwick experience the busiest May in its history, as 4.1 million passengers travelled through the airport.
In the same month that Qatar Airways launched a new service from Gatwick to Doha, the airport’s 65 other long-haul routes continued to soar, +24.1% on May 2017. Services to Asia performed strongly, with Hong Kong particularly popular, +39% on last year.
Gatwick’s ongoing global success story is also having a significant impact on its cargo tonnage. The volume of cargo handled by the airport in May grew by 14.8% year-on-year.
Gatwick’s connections to the United States, +42.8% for the month, drove the airport’s busiest-ever May. The USA’s most iconic cities were among the most popular long-haul destinations during the month, with East Coast favourites Boston and New York +73.1% and +45.4% respectively, and Los Angeles +49.6%.
Bucharest, Pula and Vienna, +50.5%, +38.8% and +27.9% respectively, were among the most popular European destinations.
Elsewhere, domestic routes to Newquay and the Isle of Man were up 18.6% and 8.7% respectively, while Guernsey saw a 5.8% rise on May last year.
May’s growth was achieved against a backdrop of air traffic control action and weather disruption throughout Europe, which resulted in a reduction in air traffic movements for the month, compared to May 2017.
Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:
“May was another successful month for Gatwick’s long-haul route network, with substantial growth in our existing routes, as well as the welcome addition of new Qatar Airways flights to Doha. This service makes it even easier for our passengers to reach onward destinations in Asia and Australia, and also provides increased cargo capacity – further demonstrating the vital role that Gatwick continues to play for Britain.
“As passenger numbers continue to rise, we remain committed to improving the passenger experience at every touch point, and our busiest-ever May coincided with the launch of the UK’s first trial of self-boarding gates, using biometric technology to make the boarding process for passengers even quicker.
“Continuing to innovate is hugely important for us, and we’re committed to exploring the best way Gatwick can continue to grow sustainably through maximising the use of our existing facilities, supporting the local and national economy whilst opening up new destinations for our passengers and businesses and offering the country the prospect of a financeable and deliverable new runway scheme.”