Gatwick cracks half a million passenger mark over Easter Weekend for the first time ever


  • 2.8 million passengers expected at the airport during school holidays, +9.2% on Easter Holidays 2016
  • Half a million passengers travelling over Easter Bank Holiday Weekend alone, +13.6% on last year
  • Passengers off to La La Land as Los Angeles is biggest growing destination

Gatwick Airport is set to experience its busiest Easter on record this year with 2.8 million passengers forecast to travel through the airport during the school holiday period,  +9.2% on Easter Holidays 2016.

The four-day Easter Bank Holiday Weekend is expected to be particularly busy as half a million travellers (509,000) – 13.6% more than last year – use the time off work and school for a Spring getaway.

Established family favourite Orlando is Gatwick’s most popular long-haul choice over the Easter Weekend. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is Gatwick’s fastest growing long-haul destination, +96% on Easter Weekend last year. The city enters the top ten long-haul destinations list for the first time since the route began in 2014, on the heels of its portrayal in the recent Oscar-winning movie La La Land.

Holidaymakers are also increasingly enticed by the prospect of a Canadian Easter, as Toronto enters the top ten long-haul list for the first time in two years with the number of passengers flying there rising by 80% compared with the Easter Weekend 2016.

Families travelling through Gatwick on Easter Sunday (16 April) can look forward to the return of the airport’s annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. This year’s event is set to be the biggest yet with 4,000 Easter eggs and 1,500 cupcakes to give away, as well as entertainment being provided by a host of popular Alice in Wonderland characters.

Wayne Tomlinson, Terminal Operations Manager at Gatwick Airport, said:

“With Los Angeles and Toronto climbing into our top ten long-haul destinations list for Easter, it’s clear that holidaymakers are taking advantage of the growing number of affordable transatlantic travel options available from Gatwick. It’s exciting to see that passenger numbers have grown by a considerable 13.6% and, although the airport will be busier, our commitment to delivering an outstanding passenger experience remains the same.

“The Mad Hatters Tea Party will ensure that every family flying from Gatwick on Easter Sunday enjoys a fun and unique start to their holiday, and our free children’s play areas and dedicated family security lanes will help to provide a smooth and hassle-free airport experience during the busy Easter period.”

Top 10 long-haul destinations during Easter Weekend:

  • Orlando
  • Dubai
  • Bridgetown
  • New York
  • Las Vegas
  • Cancun
  • Toronto
  • Los Angeles
  • Hurghada
  • Oakland

Top 10 short-haul destinations during Easter Weekend:

  • Barcelona
  • Malaga
  • Dublin
  • Amsterdam
  • Madrid
  • Geneva
  • Belfast
  • Tenerife
  • Alicante
  • Milan


*The school holiday period refers to 1 April to 23 April, as some counties are taking the Easter break between 1 April and 17 April, whilst other counties are taking the holiday between 8 April and 23 April.

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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