Passenger traffic at London Gatwick Airport in the UK has increased by 4.1% to 2.31 million in November 2013, up from 2.22 million during the corresponding period in 2012.
Passenger traffic in European routes to continental Europe, Ireland and the Channel Islands continued to grow, with the number of passengers choosing to fly from London Gatwick increasing by 6.6% to 1.5 million.
The airport had witnessed a significant increase in European flights on key business routes, with destinations such as Moscow, Istanbul and Oslo adding over 85,000 passengers.
However, this was offset by fewer passengers on charter flights to European leisure destinations, indicating the longer-term market shift towards scheduled, low cost airlines.
Long-haul growth increased by 9.6%, primarily due to the increases on leisure routes such as Thailand and Morocco, which was complemented by growth on long haul business routes such as to Dubai and Vietnam.
Traffic to North America fell by 12.8%, primarily due to US Airways’ seizure of services from London Gatwick earlier in the year.
However, the launch of three new direct Norwegian services to the US, which include New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, in next summer is expected drive the transatlantic traffic.
On domestic routes, passenger traffic to Belfast and the Isle of Man were offset by the withdrawal of traffic to some other routes, such as Manchester.
During November 2013, air transport movements at the airport increased 5.5% to 16,837t when compared with 15,963t during November 2012, while cargo traffic decreased 11.5% to 7,901t when compared with 8,930t during November 2012.
Load factors, which indicate how full the average flight was, stood at 80.4%, in line with the prior year.
London Gatwick chief financial officer Nick Dunn said: "Gatwick has the largest short haul network of any UK airport and we have continued to see growth on these routes in November, with over 1.5 million passengers travelling to destinations in Continental Europe, Ireland and the Channel Islands.
"Business routes are performing particularly strongly, especially to high growth markets such as Russia, Turkey and Vietnam, as well as more established markets including Dubai and Scandinavia.
"The diverse international routes we now serve, coupled with our strong domestic network demonstrate how far Gatwick has come in four years of new ownership. This will only increase as we add new services to North America and Asia next year, including direct routes to New York and Jakarta."
Image: In November, Gatwick Airport witnessed a significant increase in European flights on key business routes. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport Limited.