Gatwick passed the 44 million passengers a year mark for the first time last week – which its says is a world record for a single runway airport.
Driven by growth in long haul routes, the airport has reported its busiest ever March, with over 3.3 million passengers passing through – up 8.4% on the same month in 2016.
With new routes to Denver and Seattle just announced, long haul traffic to North America grew particularly strongly it says, up 37% in March, with services to LA, Boston and Toronto growing the quickest.
Cape Town, Hong Kong and Costa Rica were top long haul destinations to other parts of the world and contributed to a 34% growth in the volume cargo compared to the same month in 2016.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said: “We have just hit 44 million passengers a year – a world record for a single runway airport – and a mark that some predicted we would not hit until 2035. Our passengers continue to show confidence in foreign travel, particularly to the growing number of long haul destinations that Gatwick now serves. We launched 20 new long haul routes last year alone.
“This long haul growth is also driving up the amount of cargo flown out from Gatwick. We’ve seen a 34% increase in cargo this month alone, which is important as the UK readjusts and focuses attention on global destinations further afield.
“At this crucial time for the country and the economy, Gatwick continues to stand ready and offers the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”
He said developments for the year ahead include new long haul routes to Denver, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale and Vancouver in North America and a new service direct to Xi’an, China, and also a daily service to Hong Kong.