The UK’s London Gatwick Airport has recorded its busiest ever six months with an 8% increase in passenger numbers.
Considered to be London’s second busiest airport, Gatwick recorded a turnover of £391.6m for the first six months which was an increase of 8.6%.
The airport said that combined with carefully controlled cost management, this increased turnover resulted in an increase of 12.7% in EBITDA to £221.6m and a profit before tax of £122.4m.
A total of 22.5 million passengers travelled through the airport, which was an increase of 1.7 million.
The airport gave the credit for its growth to a combination of ‘more planes, bigger planes and fuller planes’.
A broad range of travel markets with long-haul traffic also experienced growth. Many airlines also increased frequencies on European routes and introduced new destinations.
Gatwick also added a number of European business routes such as Strasbourg, Brussels and Paris, as well as introduced flights to the top 50 EU business destinations. The airport stated that one in every five passenger now travels in business-class.
Norway’s new low-cost services to the US have also led to a 4.8% increase of passengers on North American routes.
The airport said in a statement: "Lighter regulation endorsed by the CAA is now in place using Gatwick’s industry-leading ‘Commitments and Contracts’ framework. This has allowed Gatwick to enter into commercial bilateral agreements with all of its major airlines.
"Gatwick’s £1bn investment programme continues with £90.5m invested over the last six months. Major improvements to North and South Terminal departure lounges and retail facilities have contributed to a 4.5% increase in income per passenger to £3.71."
The existing routes for flights to the Middle East have also seen an increase in capacity. New routes to emerging markets such as Vietnam, Turkey, Russia and Indonesia have also helped the airport to secure record numbers, said Gatwick Airport.
Image: London’s Gatwick Airport saw record passenger numbers for the first six months. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport.