Hearing loop system installed at Gatwick service desks

Your Service Centre Gatwick, in partnership with Skybreak, has installed its first hearing loop at their customer service desks, located in the South Terminal Zone J & North Terminal Zone D at Gatwick Airport.

The portable hearing loop and visible signage has been installed at the prominent customer service desks since the team at Your Service Centre Gatwick enrolled in a disability awareness session with Enhance UK.

David Williams, Enhance UK said: “As part of their Disability Awareness training provided by the disability led charity, Enhance the UK, Your Service Centre has installed Portable Induction Hearing Loop System for hearing aid users at both their Gatwick North and South service desks. As a profoundly deaf cochlear and hearing aid user I tested and evaluated the portable loop systems at both service desks. I found the systems working very effectively and enhanced communication My colleague and I from Enhance the UK were most impressed with the way the staff at Your Service Centre, who attended the Disability Awareness training, were keen to use their newly acquired knowledge in assisting disabled travellers at Gatwick Airport.”

The portable hearing loop installed at Your Service Centre Gatwick is fully compliant for Equality Act and CQC Compliance and is readily available in a matter of seconds, through a one touch button and high performance microphone, enabling passengers to switch their hearing loop to the ‘T’ position.

Simon Grist, Compliance Manager at Your Service Centre Gatwick, said: “With our easy to find locations on the terminal concourses at Gatwick Airport, it is essential our facilities and services are accessible to all. We decided to enroll our staff on the disability awareness training with Enhance UK and invite them to verify our portable hearing loop to ensure we were delivering our promise to passengers travelling through Gatwick Airport.”

Overnight road closures M23, M25

If you’re travelling overnight to Gatwick this week, please be aware of overnight road closures affecting the M23 and M25.

The westbound Gatwick Spur Road (Junctions 8-10a) will be closed overnight for the next four nights between the hours of 10pm and 6am. A signed diversion will be in place.

There will also be overnight closures on the M25.

Click here for further information.

Record-breaking February for Gatwick

Gatwick experienced its busiest-ever February last month.

The number of passengers passing through the airport was just shy of the three-million mark – 9.9% more than February 2016.

Long-haul services continue to be the driver of passenger growth with numbers up 20.3% last month compared to the same period last year.

Valentine’s Day had an impact on passengers: Dubai, the airport’s most popular long-haul destination in February, saw an 8% increase in passenger traffic.

North Atlantic routes were extremely popular in February, with passenger numbers to New York, Los Angeles and Toronto up by 66%, 90% and 172% respectively.

Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick’s February passenger figures demonstrate the confidence we are witnessing from our passengers, with travel still high priority following the Brexit referendum, with passenger numbers +10% on February 2016.

“Our booming long-haul growth, reflects our passengers’ response to our established and growing line-up of long-haul destinations. In the next three weeks alone British Airways start their new route to Oakland, San Francisco and Virgin Atlantic to Varadero, Cuba. Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific’s existing route to Hong Kong will be going daily this summer.”

AOA’s response to Chancellor’s failure to cut APD

The Airport Operators Association, which represents more than 50 UK airports, has responded to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, which failed to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The association’s Chief Executive, Karen Dee said: “Airports provide the necessary infrastructure for the UK’s international connectivity, with aviation the transport mode of choice for most people travelling to and from the UK and for 40% of the UK’s trade. Boosting that international connectivity through unlocking new destinations will be crucial to achieve the Chancellor’s aim of building the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more global Britain.

“That is why it is a missed opportunity for the Chancellor not to have cut Air Passenger Duty today and instead announcing another rise in line with RPI in 2018/19, on top of the RPI rise from April 2017. The UK’s APD is already one of the highest air taxes in the world. With most of our nearest neighbours either charging nothing or less than half of what the UK levies, APD is a tax on the UK’s global competitiveness and connectivity.

“Halving APD, as the AOA had called for alongside A Fair Tax on Flying campaign partners, would have brought the UK into line with the next highest APD equivalent in the EU, in Germany. It would have encouraged airlines to schedule new routes between the UK and new destinations, including in emerging markets, by making those flights more economically viable. It would also have made boosting capacity on existing routes more attractive.

“Cutting APD will boost the UK’s international connectivity and we urge the Chancellor to take action at the first available opportunity. We also continue to urge the Chancellor to make clear that any cut in any part of the UK would immediately be matched across the rest of the UK.”

Gatwick to Belfast service is busiest domestic route

Latest figures released by the CAA show that the Gatwick to Belfast International service is the UK’s busiest domestic route.

The service, which is operated by both EasyJet and Ryanair, toppled the Heathrow to Edinburgh service from its top spot by more than 1,600 passengers, seeing more than 77,000 passengers fly between Gatwick and Belfast.

Belfast International Airport Managing Director, Graham Keddie, said: “These figures give us cause for celebration.

“These are impressive numbers and we see our performance strengthening as the year progresses. We remain firmly on course for a record year with more that 5.4 million passengers, and that’s down to our airlines and our commitment to do everything we can to expand.”

Norwegian unveils new destination from Gatwick

Norwegian has announced it is launching Gatwick to Rhodes flights this summer.

The service will operate weekly from 17 June until 16 October.

The low-cost airline is also increasing the frequency of its flights to Kefalonia, Palma, Chania, Ibiza, Oslo, Aalborg and Stavanger.

New Starbucks opens at Gatwick

A new Starbucks outlet has opened at Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal.

The store will serve Starbuck’s full range of coffees and offer a menu designed to meet the needs of travelling customers, including delicious Breakfast Hot Boxes.

Simon Smith, CEO of SSP UK said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen to operate a fantastic new Starbucks coffee shop in the newly developed South terminal area at Gatwick, and to be building on our successful relationship with one of the UK’s most prestigious airports.”

To celebrate the opening, the store will be running specialist coffee tastings lead by Starbucks Coffee Masters throughout the opening period.

PRM union workers vote on strike action

Workers at Gatwick are being balloted about strike action, the BBC reports.

Members of the Unite union, who are employed by The OCS Group and assist passengers with reduced mobility, will vote on strike action over a dispute about pay.

Union members will have from tomorrow, Thursday 23 February, until 9 March to vote.

Unite has warned of “significant strike action” if there is a yes vote.

Record-breaking January for Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is celebrating after experiencing its busiest-ever January.

A whopping 2.8 million passengers passed through the airport last month, 12.1% more than in January 2016, that’s an increase of 303,000 people!

Contributing to the increase in passengers was the boom in long-haul services which saw a 23.2% increase in numbers, much of this can be attributed to a 55.3% increase in passengers travelling on North American routes (Toronto +177%, Los Angeles +94% and New York +82%).

Domestic passenger numbers, including those travelling to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, increased by 15.9% – the greatest increases were on the following routes: Belfast International +122%, Newquay +32%, Isle of Man +11% and Inverness +12%.

In a rolling 12-month period (February 2016 – January 2017), passenger numbers increased by 7.5% to 43,439,800, when compared to the previous 12-months (February 2015 – January 2016).

Germania Skiworld partnership a success

Jack-Conway-and-Matt-Saville-check-in-with-Skiworld-and-Germania.jpg

A new partnership between Germania and winter tour operator Skiworld has been hailed a success after the airline announced it has carried hundreds of winter sports enthusiasts on regular flights between Gawick and Grenoble.

Berlin based airline Germania, which landed at Gatwick in 2013, teamed up with Skiworld, the UK’s largest independent ski operator, in November 2016 and will operate flights to Grenoble on Skiworld’s behalf until the end of the winter season in April.

Sarah Searson, Managing Director of Skiworld, said: “Germania’s top levels of inflight comfort and customer service are the perfect complement to Skiworld’s superb winter holidays. It has been wonderful to see so many of our customers start their year by boarding one of Germania’s jets and heading for the ski slopes near Grenoble. By the end of the current winter sports season, thousands of Skiworld’s customers will have flown with Germania and we anticipate overwhelmingly positive feedback.”