Gatwick CEO says growth figures justify expansion

London Gatwick airport’s CEO has responded to the latest growth figures by stating that the airport is ripe for expansion.

Figures released today for March this year show that Gatwick handled 2.7 million passengers last month, which was an increase of 5.1 percent or 131,500 passengers over the figure for March 2013. The record month was a finale to a record year for the airport. The only downturn for the month was a reversal of 21.7 percent on traffic to North American destinations, primarily because US Airways ceased its routes to Gatwick during 2013.

Passenger numbers for the year ending March 31, 2014 were 4.8 percent higher than for the year ending March 31, 2013. Europe, and Spain in particular, accounted for 1.4 million more passengers, while 600,000 more passengers used the airport for Nordic routes, and the introduction of easyjet’s Moscow route in March last year meant a significant increase in traffic to Russia.

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick chief executive, said: ‘This has been a successful and exciting year for Gatwick that has seen steady growth, the completion of spending over £1 billion on improving the passenger experience and offering new routes that satisfy the demands of business and leisure travellers.’

‘These successes only add to the obvious case for expansion at Gatwick. A new runway could be delivered at Gatwick more cost effectively than at Heathrow, with significantly less environmental impact. It would also provide the connections and economic benefits the UK needs much more quickly.’