Bank holidays give boost to Gatwick load factor

BANK holiday travel has helped boost Gatwick airport’s load factor to a record 79.7 per cent high, as passenger numbers jumped by more than 700,000 in April compared to the same period last year.

Average load factors climbed 3.2 percentage points from last year, after April 2010 numbers were hit by disruption from the ash cloud from Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull which closed airspace above Gatwick for almost six days.

Though an additional 702,500 passengers travelled from the airport in April 2011, the number of people unable to travel during the restrictions last year was approximately 600,000.

The most popular destination for passengers getting away over the double bank holiday period in April was Malaga, boosted by British Airways doubling its service to the southern Spanish city after moving the route back to Gatwick from Heathrow.