London Gatwick has become the first airport with a single runway to have been visited by more than 44 million passengers a year.
Driven by increased flight services on long-haul routes, Gatwick Airport has achieved 49 consecutive months of traffic growth.
In March, the airport saw more than 3.3 million passengers passing through its terminals, with an 8.4% rise in passenger volumes, compared to the same month last year.
Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick is booming. We have just hit 44 million passengers a year – a world record for a single runway airport – and a mark that some predicted we would not hit until 2035, in 18 years’ time!”
“Our passengers continue to show confidence in foreign travel, particularly to the growing number of long-haul destinations that Gatwick now serves.”
With the announcement of new routes from Gatwick Airport to Denver and Seattle, long-haul traffic to North America increased by 37% in March, with services to Los Angeles, Boston and Toronto growing the most.
In other parts of the world, the top long-haul destinations were Cape Town, Hong Kong and Costa Rica, which registered a 34% growth in the volume cargo compared to the same month last year.
Wingate added: “This long-haul growth is also driving up the amount of cargo flown out from Gatwick. We’ve seen a 34% increase in cargo this month alone, which is important as the UK readjusts and focuses attention on global destinations further afield.”
Gatwick Airport is also set to experience its busiest Easter on record, with an estimation of 2.8 million passengers expected to travel through the airport gates during the school holiday period this year.
Image: Aerial view of the runway at Gatwick Airport. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport.