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5 - Jun - 2014

Passenger numbers rise at South East’s airports

This week, three of the UK’s major airports reported a big rise in passenger numbers, demonstrating that the economy is definitely on the turn and growth is steadily increasing. 

Gatwick reported a 15.4% increase more than 3 million travellers passed through the airport in April.  421,900 passengers showed growth across all of their airline business models – charter, low cost and full service carriers; 348,600 passengers represented growth for their scheduled European services… that’s 20.8% rise.  High growth markets, such as Turkey and Russia, also improved as well as the number of flights increasing to Rome, Amsterdam and Scandinavian cities.  New flights to countries like Saudi Arabia and China also boosted the rise in numbers with 15,300 passengers travelling and their route to Vietnam proved popular.

Stewart Wingate, CEO at London Gatwick, said: “The fundamental reason for Gatwick’s significant growth in April is its ability to support a mix of airline models – low cost, charter and full service.  No other airport in London can do this.”

Heathrow also reported strong growth this week, particularly in faraway destinations, with 6.2 million passengers flying in and out of the airport in April, an increase of 6.7%.  Destinations showing the most significant increases were Mexico, up by 15.9%, China which was up by 12.5% and India with an increase of 9.2%.  The airport also reported strong growth in their cargo business, up 4.4%, as well as other destinations showing big increases.

Colin Matthews, CE at London Heathrow, said: “Our capital programme and continuous operational movements have supported record customer satisfaction levels, with the proportion of passengers rating their journey as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ increasing from few than half six years ago, to a record high of 80% this quarter.”

To add to the list, Stansted reported increased passenger travel with a rise of 3.4% year-on-year and for the first time since December 2011, the 18 million passenger mark has been surpassed.  This April was their busiest since 2008 and represented an increase of 10.7%; however their air transport side suffered year-over-year losses of 4.2%, and cargo tonnage also fell by 15%.

Andrew Harrison, MD at Stansted Airport, said: “To see Stansted experience its busiest April, and to once again break through the 18 million passengers a year barrier, is a key milestone in our growth plans for the airport, which are already providing people with more choice of destinations and increased flight frequency.”