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Gatwick 'remains credible option' for expansion

13 March 2017 07:49

Traffic to Los Angeles was up 90% compared with February 2016

Traffic to Los Angeles was up 90% compared with February 2016

Gatwick Airport is insisting it is still a "credible and deliverable" expansion option, as the airport experienced its busiest ever February.

Figures show passenger growth for February almost hit double digits, rising 9.9% last month compared with the same month a year earlier.

Gatwick bosses maintain that the south east airport continues to offer a strong alternative for runway expansion, despite a Government statement confirming Heathrow is the "preferred option".

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "Gatwick's February passenger figures demonstrate the confidence we are witnessing from our passengers, with travel still high priority following the Brexit referendum."

He continued: "Our long-haul growth is driving the natural corresponding cargo increase, this month plus 6%, which is joined by strong growth in Gatwick's regional connections across Britain, demonstrating Gatwick's vital economic role both within Britain and internationally, as we continue to offer the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion."

Strong long-haul growth

Some three million travellers passed through the airport last month, and the number of long-haul passengers increased by 20.3%.

Routes to Los Angeles are up 90% compared with the same month last year.

West Coast figures are set to further increase this year as British Airways adds a new route to Oakland, California.

Anyone planning a long-haul trip should take out comprehensive travel insurance.

Winter sports on top

Ski resorts are also a favourite among Gatwick passengers, with Geneva coming top as the airport's most popular destination.

Some 109,500 travellers headed out to the luxurious Swiss destination last month, up 5% on February 2016.

Meanwhile, passengers from Gatwick to Innsbruck in Austria surged 9% and there has been an 8% rise in travellers to Grenoble in France.