Gatwick smashes global record of 44 million annual passengers, with long haul services driving huge growth


  • Gatwick achieves 49 consecutive months of growth with busiest ever March, up 8.4%
  • North American routes drive long haul traffic with cargo volumes also up 34%
  • Gatwick is booming’ Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO

Gatwick passed the 44 million passengers a year mark for the first time this weekend (Saturday) – a world record for a single runway airport – and also announced that it has secured 49 consecutive months of growth.

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, up 37% in March, with services to LA, Boston and Toronto growing most.

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:

Gatwick is booming. 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, in 18 years’ time!”

“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 and even more will start this summer, including to Seattle, Denver and Xi’an – our third destination in China – with our Hong Kong service also going daily.

“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 focusses 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.”

Year-end round up (April 2016 to March 2017):

  • Air traffic movements:             283,094           +4%
  • Passengers:                           43,969,000      + 8%
  • Cargo:                                     81,138             +16%  

Year ahead:

  • New long haul routes to Denver, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale and Vancouver in North America
  • New service direct to Xi’an, China, and also a daily service to Hong Kong
  • Hitting 45 million passengers a year - another world record – with bigger, quieter planes and a strengthened short-haul network


About London Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the UK contributing £5.3 billion to national GDP and generating 85,000 jobs nationally, with around 24,000 on the wider airport campus alone. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

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