13 MARCH 2017
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In the midst of record figures from virtually every UK airport last month, Gatwick stood out as its long-haul routes continued to soar to give it its busiest February to date for distant destinations, 20.3% ahead of 2016.
This expansion may have its reprecussions this coming winter. Bloomberg reports that Norwegian will slim down its Gatwick short-haul operations in favour of long-haul expansion using B787 Dreamliners.
Dubai topped Gatwick’s list of the most popular long-haul points with an 8% increase over 2016, accounting for 76,965 of the 3m passengers that used the airport during the month. St Lucia added 52% more passengers and New York with 66%. UK and Channel Islands routes grew +14.2% with Belfast routes +57%, Newquay +26% and Inverness +21%.
The long-haul boom also drove a 6% cargo increase.
Los Angeles was 90% up on the same time last year. Gatwick passengers are about to have more options for travel to the US West Coast as British Airways starts its new route to Oakland, San Francisco, this month.
Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “These figures demonstrate Gatwick’s vital economic role both within Britain and internationally, as we continue to offer the government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”
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