Gatwick passenger numbers increased in May

While figures released by Gatwick Airport’s former owner, BAA, showed that passenger traffic fell at all its English airports last month, Gatwick is celebrating after latest figures reveal that airport passenger numbers were up 2% in May when compared with May 2011.

Gatwick handled 2,973,500 passenger in May, a rise in passengers despite a reduction of 1.2% in air traffic movements and a change of school holiday dates brought about by the Jubilee celebrations.

Overall, things are looking good for the airport, as passenger traffic in a rolling 12-month period (June 2011 to May 2012) increased by 4% when compared to the previous 12-month period.

Contributing to the increase in passengers was a 6.6% increase in Channel Island traffic, a 9.3% rise in European scheduled services and a 2.1% increase in load factors.

Passenger numbers on European charter flights and North Atlantic routes fell by 23.4% and 8.9% respectively.

Nick Dunn, Gatwick’s Chief Financial Officer commented: “It is encouraging to report a 2% growth in passenger numbers during May despite the move of a busy school-half term and May Bank holiday to June. Despite the continuing economic headwinds, business and leisure passengers are taking advantage of low-cost travel to many destinations in Europe and the new long-haul services operating from Gatwick.

“We have also seen competition amongst airports working with Atlantic Airways switching its London service to the Faroe Islands from Stansted to Gatwick during May. We continue to invest around £20 million a month in the airport to create a modern, welcoming airport with minimal queue-times and excellent customer service. This is now paying dividends with airlines and passenger choosing to fly from Gatwick.”

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