GATWICK Airport brought in 5.1 per cent more passengers in March, as European and long-haul routes both delivered double-digit growth.
In spite of the later Easter break this year, Gatwick said scheduled traffic to and from Europe was up 11.4 per cent on March 2013 to 1.49m, while long haul passengers not travelling to North America rose 13.1 per cent to 505,200. Total traffic hit 2.7m.
London’s second-busiest airport said traffic in the last year has risen 4.8 per cent to almost 35.9m passengers.
“This has been a successful and exciting year for Gatwick that has seen steady growth, the completion of spending over £1bn on improving the passenger experience and offering new routes that satisfy the demands of business and leisure travellers,” said chief executive Stewart Wingate. “These successes only add to the obvious case for expansion at Gatwick.”
The airport is vying with Heathrow to get the Airports Commission’s recommendation as the site of Britain’s next runway.
While Gatwick flights across the North Atlantic fell by more than a fifth on last year during March, reflecting US Airways’ departure from the airport, Gatwick is hopeful that new low-cost flights to America launched by Norwegian this summer will improve the figures.
Cargo traffic in March fell 11.9 per cent, mirroring a slump in air freight transit across Europe.