Record passenger numbers boost Gatwick

Record passenger numbers boost Gatwick

Gatwick Airport has seen profits take off on the back of record passenger numbers and more long-haul routes.

Pre-tax profits jumped 77% to £141m in the year to March as 2.1 million more passengers passed through its terminals, taking advantage of its 50 long-distance routes.

Gatwick said it experienced the busiest year in its history with 40.8 million flying from London's second largest airport, helping turnover increase 5.5% to £673.1m. Gatwick also said it is adding new routes to China, Hong Kong and Cape Town this autumn.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate used the results to reiterate calls for Gatwick to be given the green light for a second runway.

"Aviation growth is outstripping forecasts. In uncertain times and after decades of delay, only Gatwick can now give Britain certainty that airport expansion can finally happen. Gatwick can have a spade in the ground by 2020 and the first planes flying from a new runway in 2025.

"Today's results offer a glimpse of the benefits a two-runway Gatwick would deliver for the UK - guaranteed growth with limited environmental impacts and at a cost the country can afford. The time is fast approaching to give expansion at Gatwick the green light so Britain can get the benefits."

Wingate has previously said t he Leave vote in the EU referendum means it is "clearer than ever" that Gatwick should be expanded.

Earlier this week, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government remains committed to airport expansion in south-east England despite the result of the EU referendum.

It has been suggested that David Cameron's resignation could mean a further hold-up in the much delayed decision on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick. A judgment is expected in the coming months.