Gatwick Airport passed the 44 million passengers per year mark for this first time this month (April 8), a world record for a single runway airport.
The milestone, which coincides with 49 consecutive months of growth, has been driven by growth in long-haul routes.
With new routes to Denver and Seattle just announced, long-haul traffic to North America was up 37% in March, with services to LA, Boston and Toronto proving most popular. Cape Town, Hong Kong and Costa Rica were other top long-haul destinations.
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 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.”
The airport had its busiest ever March, with over 3.3 million passengers representing an 8.4% rise compared with the same month last year.
The end-of-year roundup for April 2016 to March 2017 shows a 4% rise in air traffic movement, an 8% hike in passenger numbers, and cargo figures were up 16%.