London Gatwick celebrates £40 million retail transformation

An additional ten new and refreshed retail stores have now opened at London Gatwick to complete the transformation of the shopping experience at South Terminal departure lounge, the airport said.

The new stores, Superdry, Fat Face, Snow+Rock, Ted Baker, Zara, Best of the Best, London News, Mango, Joules and Victoria’s Secret, have been selected based on passenger feedback, for a more premium offering of both national and international brands. A survey by the airport revealed that 56 percent of passengers wanted more high street and international brands, 38 percent wanted a premium department store and 22 percent wanted more designer brands.

Shoppers will now also be able to enjoy a 4,500 sq. ft. Zara outlet, the largest UK airport store to date, a 1,000 sq. ft. Ted Baker store and another airport first, a 1,000 sq. ft. Snow+Rock, offering a wide range of footwear, accessories and clothing.

Spencer Sheen, head of retail at London Gatwick said: ‘We are very proud of the completion of the South Terminal International Departure Lounge, which takes airport shopping and the passenger experience to a whole new level.

Our new retail space not only demonstrates our forward thinking but also our desire to deliver on what our passengers ask for, be it a luxury department store or a high-street favourite. And the results we have seen so far speak for themselves as more than 80% of our passengers have rated as ‘excellent’ and ‘good’ the selection of retail outlets available at the airport3.’

These new openings mark the final phase of an extensive GBP40 million South Terminal departure lounge project that is intended to deliver a state-of-the-art retail journey for passengers.

The first phase, completed in August 2013, saw the opening of eleven new and refreshed stores including two airport firsts, Aspinal of London and Ernest Jones, and a 6,500 square foot flagship Harrods store, focusing on fashion and accessories.

The range of brands and products now available in the South Terminal ensures the shopping experience provided at London Gatwick truly reflects passenger needs, the airport said.

London Gatwick to study airport expansion, promote connectivity with Scotland

London Gatwick is looking to study the possibility of an airport expansion, claiming that greater connectivity between London and Scotland would benefit the Scottish economy.

Gatwick Airport’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, is set to visit Glasgow and Edinburgh this week to promote connectivity with Scotland and also explain how expanding Gatwick can be better for the Scottish economy.

Wingate will introduce and explain a new study into airport expansion and Scottish connectivity to an audience of business leaders assembled at the Glasgow Chambers of Commerce. The research, commissioned through Inverness-based Northpoint Aviation, will study the present levels of access and demand, learn from best practice around other European countries and also assess the impact of a second runway at Gatwick on Scotland’s connectivity to London and the world.

Wingate, said: ‘The debate over airport expansion in the South East is not just about what is good for London, it is about delivering economic benefits, more affordable travel and greater connectivity for passengers throughout the UK.

Scotland is very important to Gatwick and our planned expansion will protect competition and deliver cheaper travel to more destinations for the people of Scotland.’

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘We are delighted that the chief executive of London Gatwick has come to Glasgow to listen to the views of our members. Access to London is vital for the businesses we represent and for the success of the local and national economies and Stewart has recognised that today.

We are working hard to ensure that capacity constraints in the south east don’t limit our future ability to access such vital national and international markets and in the short term this remains an issue.’

Following the study, Gatwick airport will return to Scotland to present its findings and seek more views in due course.

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 35 million passengers a year on short- and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities.

Emirates to operate a scheduled A380 service TO London Gatwick

Emirates is set to become the first airline to operate a regular scheduled service to London Gatwick airport aboard the A380, the world’s largest passenger jet.

Emirates will add the 489-seat A380 to one of the three daily round-trip flights that it flies between Dubai and London Gatwick. The two decks of the Emirates A380 will have 399 seats in Economy Class, 76 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 14 luxury First Class Private Suites.

From March 30, the airline’s 489-seat A380 will replace the Boeing 777-300ER on EK flight 09/10, bringing a 36 percent increase in capacity on one of its three daily flights.

Thierry Antinori, executive vice president of Emirates Airline, said: ‘London Gatwick was our first destination in the UK when we launched our services to the airport in 1987.

‘Our long term strategic partnership with London Gatwick enables us to bring our flagship A380 on a regularly scheduled basis and build on our robust presence at the airport. Our support for London Gatwick’s long-term growth plans is aligned with our global strategy to optimise capacity on our major routes and to offer our passengers with ever more opportunities to fly on our A380s.

‘The A380s are highly popular with our customers because of all travel comforts – thoughtful touches and luxury features – that we have packed into it,’ he added.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive of London Gatwick, said: ‘Scheduled A380 services further demonstrate Gatwick’s emergence as a world-class airport, which now supports routes to established and emerging markets across the globe, and is rapidly becoming London’s airport of choice for both business and leisure passengers.

‘Emirates and Gatwick have worked successfully together for more than 25 years so we are delighted that we will welcome its iconic A380 next year.

‘This news is testament to the strong partnership we have with Emirates and its confidence in Gatwick as a dynamic, ambitious airport, which has vastly improved and enhanced facilities for its airlines and passengers in recent years.’

easyJet announces new route between London Gatwick and Tel Aviv

easyJet, a UK-based airline, has said that it plans a third route between the UK and Tel Aviv.

The airline, which already flies to the city from Manchester Airport and London Luton Airport, will start services from London Gatwick Airport from April 1, 2014. The three-times-weekly flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with fares starting from £90.49, and will be available from December 10.

Hugh Aitken, UK commercial manager for easyJet, said: ‘easyJet is delighted to be able to offer new services to Tel Aviv from a third airport in the UK. We expect to carry around 50,000 passengers each year on the new Gatwick service. Combined with our flights from London Luton and Manchester this means we will operate 16 weekly flights to Tel Aviv from the UK.

‘Our research, in conjunction with the Jewish News, has helped us better understand why passengers choose Tel Aviv and informed us about what they enjoyed about their trip. The most striking finding was the destination’s growing popularity with young travellers who viewed it as a relaxing, beach destination to visit.

‘One of the reasons for launching new flights from London Gatwick is because Tel Aviv’s appeal as a popular leisure destination has been growing. Almost 100,000 passengers travelled from both London Luton and Manchester with easyJet in the past year.’

easyJet undertook a survey of adult travellers to better understand visitors’ impressions of Israel. The survey found that a third, 33 percent, of people questioned were visiting Israel for the first time, with 41 percent of first time visitors aged 35 or under. Nearly 75 percent of visitors were travelling purely for leisure, while the rest were on business or a mixture of both.

78 percent of participants said that they would revisit Israel, while 40 percent said that they had already recommended visiting Israel to a friend, and a further 42 percent said that they would recommend Israel to a friend.

easyJet started flying to Tel Aviv in November 2009 from London Luton Airport. Across Europe the airline currently serves Tel Aviv from London Luton and Manchester, as well as Basel, Geneva and Rome.

The airline has recently announced a Berlin – Tel Aviv route, which is the first since the signing of the Open skies agreement between the EU and Israel. In the past twelve months, easyJet has flown more than 330,000 passengers into and out of Tel Aviv, 190,000 of those flew to and from the UK.

easyJet has also increased its flights between Manchester and Tel Aviv from two to three per week between February 17, 2014, and April 28, 2014.

Norwegian to launch long haul services from London Gatwick to North America

European low cost carrier, Norwegian, has said that it will launch three new non-stop long haul services from London Gatwick to North America next summer, according to news a release by Gatwick authorities.

The routes include direct flights to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

With the introductions, passengers using Gatwick will have a choice of a range of flights to US airports and, more importantly, competitively priced fares starting from GBP149 one way to New York, GBP179 to Fort Lauderdale and £199 to Los Angeles. On average, these fares will be up to 50 percent cheaper than fares from Heathrow.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: ‘This is one of the most exciting route developments since Gatwick’s change of ownership four years ago and shows the benefits to passengers of Gatwick competing with Heathrow on routes, price and service. Norwegian’s decision to re-establish London Gatwick’s links to strategic destinations in North America gives passengers, once again, real choice about how to get there and, importantly, provide options for affordable travel to popular business and leisure destinations.

‘Norwegian’s decision to operate high quality services on new long range aircraft offering good-value fares to the US from London Gatwick is a significant industry game-changer. It points to a future in which more and more long haul routes will be served by Gatwick. This is an important industry development that I am sure the Airports Commission will want to look at closely when considering the future shape of aviation.’

Norwegian’s CEO, Bjorn Kjos, said: ‘There’s great demand for high quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the U.S., particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes. We are looking forward to welcoming many new customers on board our brand new aircraft. Launching intercontinental routes between London Gatwick and the United States is also an important part of our strategy to expand internationally and get a stronger foothold in markets outside Scandinavia.’

Norwegian moved from Stansted to Gatwick in 2009, and since then has increased its flights from the airport by more than a third. In spring 2013, it introduced a UK base at Gatwick and started 12 new direct European routes.

In addition to its new long haul routes, Norwegian will also be launching a number of new short haul routes from Gatwick in 2014, adding to its 25 destinations. New services will include Budapest, Santorini, Sicily, Cyprus and Corfu. From summer 2014, Norwegian will also increase the frequencies on nine of its current routes.

London Gatwick launches redesigned website

London Gatwick Airport has launched its redesigned and fully responsive website, www.gatwickairport.com, with a notably different look and feel from the earlier design.

The new site features a fresh, user-friendly design with improved functionality following extensive research and testing with passengers.

The website also offers new features such as ‘pin my flight,’ offering passengers easy access to their flight status as they continue to browse online. Passengers will also be able to consult a comprehensive guide on travel to and from the airport.

Additionally, the new site is strategically built in a responsive design, optimised for all screen resolutions and devices. According to the airport, nearly 45 percent of users viewed the Gatwick site from mobile or tablet devices, including the full spectrum from iPhone to Android. The new responsive site allows passengers to experience a seamless content and brand experience, and an improved browsing experience for mobile and tablet users.

Gatwick chief information officer, Michael Ibbitson, said: ‘Our team has worked hard to create a site that meets the needs of our passengers and creates a seamless user experience whether you’re at home, on the move or at the airport. We’re proud with the result which we believe creates a new benchmark for airport websites and demonstrates responsive design at its best.’

Peter Hall, chair of Gatwick’s Passenger Advisory Group, said: ‘We are delighted to support the launch of Gatwick’s new website. It is great that the site can be accessed from a range of devices. The five key sections ‘shopping and eating’, ‘flying out’, ‘flying in’, ‘picking up and dropping off’ and ‘passenger facilities’ give passengers all the information they need as they plan their trip via Gatwick. But there’s so much more about Gatwick on the website. We hope passengers find it engaging and useful.’

The launch of the new website forms part of a wider makeover for Gatwick, which includes improved way-finding and faster, more efficient security lanes with personalised areas for families and premium travellers, and a major revamp of the shops and restaurants that serve the airport.

Initial feedback from passengers regarding the site has been positive, and Gatwick will continue to monitor feedback and make changes accordingly, the airport said.

Gatwick urges constellation model for UK aviation

London Gatwick airport has recommended the constellation model for UK aviation in its paper on ‘Airports Operational Models.’

Gatwick has also responded to questions by the Airports Commission on the paper, particularly on the future trends in aviation, and on the pros and cons of the hub model. The airport has put forward a proposal for London to be served by a ‘constellation’ of the three major London airports, Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, each with two runways in due course, and Gatwick first in line to be granted a second runway.

‘Our evidence shows that the ‘constellation’ approach will deliver the air connectivity London needs to remain a world city and for the UK to retain its status as one of the best connected countries in the world,’ a statement from airport said.

‘We also believe that Gatwick’s proposal is the only option that will create a level playing field between the airports and deliver true competition, which is necessary to drive higher frequencies, new routes and at better prices for the passenger,’ it said, adding: ‘Spreading capacity around London will also make airports more resilient to disruption and keep London and the UK open for business, whatever the weather or incident.’

‘It will also have significantly less environmental impact than other options such as expansion at Heathrow, which today impacts more people from a noise perspective than all of the other Western European hubs combined,’ it said.

According to Gatwick, London’s rating as a world city, with the world’s largest aviation market in terms of passenger numbers, is not because it has a ‘hub’ airport, but because of the consistent government policy that fosters liberalisation of the airline market and competition between airports. Other world cities, including New York, Tokyo, Paris and Moscow, operate a multi-airport or ‘constellation’ system, and handle greater numbers of passengers than cities relying on a single ‘hub’ airport.

London Gatwick agrees with the Airports Commission’s statement that the aviation market is in constant flux, and trends in travel are changing.

‘Around the world we see low cost carriers integrating with full service carriers; WestJet in Canada, Jet Blue in the US and Virgin Australia are all integrating with long haul carriers,’ the statement said.

Also, the introduction of ‘hub busting’ aircraft technology, such as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350, will result in many more passengers flying direct to their destinations.

London Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said, ‘It is clear from the evidence we are gathering, with the help of some of the world’s leading aviation experts, that we need to develop an airports system in London and the south-east that is robust and flexible enough to adapt to any future outcome.’

He added, ‘A two-runway Gatwick, as part of a constellation of three major airports surrounding London, is the best option to provide flexibility in addressing an industry whose only constant is change.’

Garuda Indonesia Launches London to Jakarta Service

Garuda Indonesia, an Indonesia-based airline, will be offering a service from London Gatwick Airport in the UK.

The airline is offering non-stop flights from London to Jakarta, Indonesia, six times per week. The airline will be operating Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft on the route, which can carry up to 300 passengers.

The UK prime minister, David Cameron, on welcoming the airline to the country, said, ‘We want to link Britain up with the world’s fastest growing economies. And good air links are vital to achieving that. This new route from London to Jakarta is good for British business and will help them to compete in the global race.’

The airline president and chief executive officer, Emirsyah Satar, said, ‘This flight will be more convenient since it will be serving passengers – non-stop – from Jakarta to London with the brand new B777-300ER, which will be equipped with Wi-Fi and a chef on board for First Class passengers.

We chose Gatwick, London as the UK airport because of its convenience and good network and accessibility options into Europe and beyond.’

The chief executive officer of Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate, said, ‘We are delighted that Garuda Indonesia has chosen Gatwick to operate this vital direct route. Despite being a crucial high growth business market for the UK, Indonesia has been underserved with no direct routes to the region from the UK – until now. Jakarta is also a major hub airport for South East Asia, giving UK passengers even more access and choice to the region.

Whilst the UK is one of the best-connected countries in the world, we do need more direct links to key markets such as Indonesia. At Gatwick, we’re playing our part by investing in the airport and, with our airlines, opening new routes to growing economies such as China, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam and now Indonesia. We look forward to welcoming Garuda Indonesia later this year.’

The new direct service to Jakarta from London is likely to open up other routes from South East Asia to Europe. The airline will also be offering new routes to Auckland and Brisbane.

Flybe Terminates Service between Gatwick Airport and Aberdeen

Flybe, a UK-based airline company, has announced the cancellation of its service between London Gatwick Airport and Aberdeen Airport, in Scotland.

The airline is currently offering a three times-daily service between the two airports, operating an Embraer aircraft. The last service will be on October 27, 2012.

In a statement the airline said, ‘Flybe carefully reviews the viability of all our 180 plus routes on a regular basis looking not only at passenger numbers but also at external cost pressures,’ said the company in a statement.

This is done not only to monitor where we can offer increased regularity on a given route but also where passenger numbers make a flight environmentally, as well as economically, harder to justify.

Unfortunately, after much consideration Flybe can confirm it is cancelling its Aberdeen to Gatwick route from the end of the IATA summer season on Sunday October 28.’

With the withdrawal of Flybe’s service, Easyjet, another UK based airline, will be the only carrier to serve the route. Easyjet also serve Aberdeen airport from London Luton Airport, and Aberdeen Airport is served by British Airways from both London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport.

Flybe has also given its support to the campaign against Air Passenger Duty (APD), which is to be implemented by the UK government, and expressed its support for publication of a report on Inquiry into Aviation Policy and Air Passenger Duty by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

The government will charge APD to passengers flying out of the UK in an aircraft that has an authorised take-off weight of more than ten tonnes or more than twenty seats. Passengers have to pay the tax twice for a return journey, around an additional GBP26 for a return fare.

 

Air Nigeria Commences Flights from Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick Airport has announced a new service to Lagos, in Nigeria, with flights offered by Nigeria’s national carrier, Air Nigeria.

Air Nigeria is offering passengers a daily flight to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, from London Gatwick Airport, using an A330-200 aircraft. The service became operational as of May 17, 2012, and the airline has stated that its intention is to offer a unique onboard experience on its flights at affordable fares.

David Amurun, the country manager for Air Nigeria in UK, said, ‘Air Nigeria’s return to its long hub operations with a London-Lagos route is exciting news for passengers. After a successful turn-around of the airline over the last two years, the airline is now well positioned to compete favourably on the international market. Gatwick Airport has excellent links into London and the South East making it easily accessible for business and leisure travellers.’

The new route is expected to strengthen business and tourism relations between UK and Nigeria.

Guy Stephenson, the chief commercial officer of Gatwick Airport, said, ‘We are delighted to welcome Air Nigeria and its passengers to the airport today. We expect this route to be very popular, not only for people wishing to meet up with friends and family, but also with businesses in London and the South East wanting to help strengthen trade and investment links between the two countries. Nigeria is the third fastest growing economy in the world and is important therefore that we continue to help broaden trade links with these growing markets.’