London airports enjoy record March
16 April 2015 09:10
Passenger numbers at Heathrow and Gatwick soared in March
Gatwick and Heathrow both achieved record-breaking passenger figures in March, it has been revealed.
The two airports are currently battling it out to be chosen as the site for a new runway in the South East.
Both have submitted plans to accommodate an additional runway.
And they will be hoping their impressive figures from last month can swing the odds in their favour as the battle begins to intensify.
Surge in passengers
Gatwick handled 2.95 million passengers in March, up 9.2% year-on-year.
Its long-haul traffic grew by 7.4%, with Dubai experiencing a 14.7% rise in passengers.
European scheduled services at the Sussex airport increased by 12.1% during the month.
Heathrow, meanwhile, saw a 3.4% increase in passenger numbers, to 5.95 million.
Travellers on Mexico routes were up 26.5%, plus the number of those heading to China and the Middle East and central Asia jumped by 20.2% and 7.6% respectively.
North American traffic, on the other hand, rose by 6%.
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Runway plans at Gatwick and Heathrow have made it onto the short-list of the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission.
Each proposal is being considered by the panel, with a recommendation expected to be delivered in a full report this summer. It is therefore a waiting game for both airports.
But they will be buoyed in their bids for an additional runway by the positive figures recorded in March.
Gatwick's passenger numbers for the 12 months totalled 38.66 million, which was 7.8% up on the 12 months ending March 2014.
In comparison, Heathrow's total for the 12 months rose 1.8% to 73.7 million.