‘Business as usual’: Gatwick returns to black and scraps passenger cap
Gatwick has returned to business as usual following a turbulent two years, plagued by Covid and, more recently, by this summer’s travel chaos.
Chief executive Stewart Wingate told City A.M. that the West Sussex airport recovered strongly following the UK Government’s decision to scrap all Covid travel rules, posting a profit after tax of £50.6m and a revenue of £291.5m for the six months to June.
Air traffic volumes hit 59 per cent of 2019 levels, as the airport welcomed 13 million passengers overall.
In the second quarter, passenger numbers went to 75 per cent of pre-pandemic, while in July they were above 81 per cent.
“We have seen a significant bounce back, probably a stronger bounce back than any other EU airport,” Wingate said.
According to the chief executive, Gatwick will no longer need to cap flights, as the measures introduced in late June borne fruit.
After it was forced to axe 3.2 per cent of its flights due to a combination of increased demand and labour shortages, Gatwick capped daily flights to 825 and 850 in July and August respectively.
The move, Wingate explained, reduced the number of cancellations and “enabled a more resilient operation to be provided to passengers.”
“In July and August, our busiest months, passengers have enjoyed good levels of service going through the airport,” he added.
“In terms of the future, we don’t anticipate having to make any further midseason revised capacity declarations.”
This comes at the airport was forced to axe 26 Easyjet flights – 13 departures and 13 arrivals – due to staff sickness.
“At 07:00, restrictions were put on the number of flights that can arrive into Gatwick due to late notice staff absence in the airport’s control tower,” said an airport spokesperson.
“Some flights throughout the day may unfortunately be delayed or cancelled as a result.
“Gatwick would like to apologise for any inconvenience this will cause to our passengers.”