20 JANUARY 2014


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Article from BTNews 20 JANUARY 2014

London airports grow

Both Gatwick and Heathrow published their annual figures last week which showed that Gatwick is now running at 35.4m, plus 4.8% on a rolling year basis, an astonishing total for a single runway airport, and Heathrow 72.3m, a rise of 3.4% on 2012.

Looking at the figures in more detail Gatwick lost US Airways and a pair of American gateways last year which should be more than compensated by the introduction of Norwegian services to Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York.  The airport’s largest customer, easyJet, started a prestige operation to Moscow amongst other new routes, and 2014 will see many Flybe small aircraft services exchanged for much larger Airbus A320 series flights. 

Heathrow seats per aircraft increased 2.8% on 2012 and the average load factor was 76.4%, up 1 percentage point.  Passengers per aircraft rose 3.7% to 154.8.  This year will see the loss of some small planes and more A380s arriving.  Potentially the average figure could top 160.

Both airports are in theory full.  The real challenge is not to accommodate more and larger aircraft but to deal with the passenger throughput.  With Gatwick’s revamping of the South Terminal and Heathrow T2 opening, 2014 should be a good year. www.gatwickairport.com www.heathrowairport.com

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