London’s two rival airports Gatwick and Heathrow – both contending for the new runway – have reported record of the annual passenger numbers.
The Airport Council International Europe announced that London Gatwick is one of Europe’s fastest growing airports after this January record-breaking.
The London Gatwick Airport said 2.5 million passengers travelled through the airport this January, seeing a 5.7% increase on the previous year.
The result of this passenger growth is due to more air traffic movements per hour and larger aircraft being used by airlines, according to Gatwick’s press release.
The European routes grew by the +5.3% compared with January 2015, Gatwick said, with a noticeable growth on routes like Vienna (+76.6%), Funchal (+42.2%) and Dublin (+18.5%).
Whereas, the long-haul routes performed strongly by the +8.7%. The major destinations to contribute this growth were New York (+121.1%), Los Angeles (+54.7%) and Las Vegas (+38.3%).
Meanwhile, the London Heathrow Airport reported that nearly 75 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2015, the highest number of annual passengers.
Similar to Gatwick, to contribute to this record was the larger and quieter aircrafts, with an increase of passengers seats of 2.1% to 209, and passengers per aircraft rising to 1.9% to 160.
The main destinations that influenced the growth of passenger numbers were China (+14%), Latin America (+8%) and the Middle East (+%6).
The decision for what airport hub will be the site for the new runway is still pending. However, both airport CEOs are confident with the future outcomes.
Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, said: “With each month of continued growth, Gatwick further demonstrates that it is ready for expansion.”
“The simple facts show that Gatwick’s plan is not just the best but the only deliverable solution to the question of where the UK’s next runway should be built.”
“It’s clear now that the barriers facing Heathrow are insurmountable – it’s Gatwick or nothing and it’s time to get on with it.”
Whereas, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “…Our new expansion plan will make Heathrow the most sustainable hub airport, and Britain the best connected country in the world. We are ready to serve.”
Sub-editor: Pawandeep Dosanjh