Gatwick Airport is set to focus on increasing its connectivity to China after a successful first year for its Tianjin route.
Gatwick Airport recorded a 6.1% year-on-year rise in passengers travelling to China in July, marking the first anniversary of the airport’s routes to Chinese destinations Tianjin and Chongqing.
The growth comes as Gatwick continues to focus on developing the airport’s connectivity with Asia, with flights to Taipei and Singapore also set to launch later this year.
Overall passenger numbers rose for a 53rd consecutive month in July as 4.7 million passengers travelled through the airport – up 2.4% – making it the busiest July in Gatwick’s history.
The record July was a result of Gatwick’s rising long-haul traffic served by larger aircraft, with the number of passengers travelling to long-haul destinations increasing by 10.7% compared to July 2016. Gatwick’s cargo, +20.4% year-on-year, also continues to benefit from the airport’s long-haul growth.
Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick’s passenger numbers for July clearly illustrate the important and growing role Gatwick is playing in bringing Britain and Asia closer together. As the demand for travel to and from East Asia continues to rise, Gatwick has responded by adding exciting new destinations such as Taipei and Singapore to our rapidly expanding network of over 60 long-haul routes.
“The £1.15bn set to be invested at Gatwick over the next five years will revolutionise our facilities and transform the airport experience for our passengers, ultimately paving the way for increased connections, including to China – one of our key ambitions for the near future.
“As we approach the halfway mark of our busiest summer on record, it’s clear that Gatwick is thriving and growing at an unprecedented rate. Gatwick is already the world’s busiest single-runway airport and we are exploring new and innovative ways to make best use of our existing facilities so we can continue to forge new connections and increase Britain’s global connectivity when it’s needed most.
“While we continue to provide new services for our growing number of passengers, we are also keen to expand and stand ready to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the government give us the green light.”