Passenger numbers up at Gatwick

Gatwick Airport has announced that its passenger numbers for the year up to the end of March have risen by 6.9% compared to last year.

Passenger numbers rose to 33.8 million, and at the same time the pre-tax loss was reduced to £48.6 million, down from £62.5 million in the same period in 2011.

Turnover at the airport also increased by 8.6% to £517.4 million.

However, it also said that some of the rise in passenger numbers was due to the Icelandic volcano in 2011 which badly affected business and prevented many people from using the London hub.

But even taking this into account, the passenger numbers were still up by 3%, representing a significant payoff for the large amount of investment in the airport over recent years.

Indeed, Stewart Wingate, the chief executive of the airport, said that it had seen “passenger growth every single month over the course of the year”.

Gatwick is currently investing £20 million every month to improve facilities for passengers, and this investment is set to continue to the tune of £435 million over the next two years.

Part of the airport’s recent success is down to the addition of new routes to Asia and emerging markets like China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam which have helped to boost passenger numbers further.

There is also speculation that Gatwick could be about to try and win permission for a new runway in the near future.

The government has already said no to a new runway back in 2010, but now there is more pressure for London’s airports to expand to maintain the reputation of the city as an international transport hub.

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