London Gatwick Airport has announced that it will temporarily moderate its rate of growth for July and August by putting in place a gradually increasing capacity level for the number of flights.
The airport has said that the new cap of 825 flights a day in July and 850 flights a day in August, down from around 900 flights a day pre-pandemic, aligns its own growth with the resource capabilities of airlines and ground handlers. Gatwick said that this will enable airlines to fly and manage more predictable and reliable flight programs for the rest of the peak school summer holiday period.
Gatwick said that a review found that a number of companies based at the airport are, and will continue to, operate with a severe lack of staff resources over the summer holiday period. If not addressed, this issue would see airport passengers continuing to experience an unreliable and potentially poor standard of service, including more queues, delays and last-minute cancellations.
Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport, said, “Gatwick prepared well for the restart of international travel by successfully reopening our South Terminal and we have now successfully recruited 400 new colleagues to help us process passengers quickly through security this summer. We are also working closely with our airlines to avoid disruption to passengers this summer, and while more newly recruited staff will start work in the coming weeks, we know it will be a busy summer.
“However, it is clear that during the Jubilee week a number of companies operating at the airport struggled in particular, because of staff shortages. By taking decisive action now, we aim to help the ground handlers – and also our airlines – to better match their flying programs with their available resources.
“As has already been the case, the vast majority of flights over the summer will operate as normal, and the steps taken today mean that our passengers can expect a more reliable and better standard of service, while also improving conditions for staff working at the airport.
“I am immensely grateful to all our staff for their tireless work over the last few months to get the airport back up and running, and for helping get passengers away on their travels.”