Gatwick airport today hailed its busiest ever year after record passenger numbers flowed through its doors.
Posting its annual results to March, the airport said passenger numbers had grown by 7.7 per cent to 44.1m. Earnings jumped 12.9 per cent to £373.6m.
The airport also claimed customer satisfaction was "at an all-time high".
Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “It has been another record-breaking year and another chapter in the transformation of Gatwick. Our continued growth and success is a testament to record investment, increased competition, and our renewed focus on efficiency and service."
Last year, Gatwick duked it out with Heathrow to receive government backing for airport expansion. Although it lost in its battle, Wingate said:
It is a simple fact that, of the top 20 airports in the world by passenger growth, Gatwick is the only one with a single runway. We continue to offer the UK a financeable and deliverable second runway scheme which we stand ready to deliver should the government give us the go-ahead.
Gatwick said demand for long-haul drove the rise in annual passenger numbers with growth of 13.6 per cent.
The Sussex airport is in the middle of a £2.5bn investment programme to improve facilities, of which it said it will spend £240m this year.