London Gatwick Airport has reported that passenger traffic inched up 0.4 per cent in August fuelled by new long-haul routes while London Luton Airport posted a 3.1 per cent uplift in numbers.
In what was the airport’s busiest August on record, overall passenger numbers reached 4.92 million and a new connection to Shanghai with China Eastern brought Gatwick’s long-haul network to a total of 64 routes. On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger traffic is up 1.2 per cent to 45.8 million.
The airport now serves 241 destinations across the globe, with several US cities seeing some of the highest year-on-year growth in August. Boston was up 74.2 per cent, while Los Angeles and New York grew by 36.8 per cent and 33.9 per cent, respectively.
Closer to home, Vienna and Hamburg also saw high passenger growth rates. Services to Vienna were bolstered by Gatwick’s new Level route, and was up 137.3 per cent year-on-year, while flights to Hamburg – one of northern Europe’s main business hubs – were up 60 per cent.
Gatwick Airport chief executive officer, Stewart Wingate said: “As we reach the end of Gatwick’s busiest summer to date, August’s traffic figures are extremely encouraging, particularly within our long-haul network.”
Meanwhile, London Luton Airport (LLA) welcomed 1.7 million passengers in August, a 3.1 per cent increase on the same month last year and the culmination of a record summer period during which almost five million passengers travelled through the airport over three months.
Last month was the busiest-ever August and the 19th consecutive month that over one million passengers have travelled through the airport. Flights were also busier than ever with an average of 93.4 per cent seats sold on every flight, an increase on August last year. Among the busiest flights were those to Paphos, Venice and Tenerife.
Passengers this summer were able to take advantage of LLA’s £160 million transformation which has included a larger and redesigned terminal, new boarding pier and larger security search area. The redevelopment, due to conclude later this year will increase capacity to 18 million by 2020, and will allow LLA to meet the growing passenger demand for air travel.
Work has also started on the DART (Direct Air Rail Transit), which will replace the current shuttle bus between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal.
(Main picture: London Luton Airport)