The UK’s second busiest airport, London Gatwick, recorded a 41% rise in passenger numbers and a 56% rise in net profit during the first half of 2023 compared to 2022 according to its interim results for the year. 

While the airport was cautious to note the effect of pandemic-related restrictions on its operations in 2022, Gatwick still recorded 18.5 million passengers, as well as £423.3m in revenue and a £79.1m net profit for the first six months of 2023, amid what it described as a “challenging operational environment”. 

Along with dealing with a larger number of air traffic control restrictions than normal across Europe, due to industrial action, the airport also had to work on finding a deal with ground workers to avoid strike action over the UK summer in Q2.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said that the airport had worked with its partners to ensure it was well-resourced: “This and the hard work of our frontline colleagues helped us provide passengers with a good level of service, despite a challenging operational environment across much of Europe.

“It’s also promising to see the airport’s recovery continue, as we once again provide passengers with more choice. 49 airlines now fly from the airport to over 200 destinations, including 50 long-haul routes.”

Other figures released in the airport’s report include operating costs of £187.6m (excluding depreciation, amortisation and exceptional costs), up 31% in 2022, and an EBITDA of £235.7m, up 59%. 

The year has been a particularly notable one for Gatwick after the airport completed a rebranding in April and has seen its application to routinely use its Northern Runway move to the examination stage. 

Work has also begun on its £10m redevelopment of the North Terminal to improve seating, accessibility, shopping options and sustainability in the first major overhaul of the departure lounge since it opened in 1988. 

However, the airport is not yet back to pre-pandemic levels of operation as air traffic movements were at 86% of those levels for the first half of 2023 and passenger numbers are not expected to surpass pre-2020 numbers until 2025.