Gatwick achieved its busiest ever July with 4.3 million passengers using the airport, a 6.4% increase on the previous year – surpassing forecasts used by the Airports Commission in its backing for a third runway at rival Heathrow.
An additional 260,000 people travelled through Gatwick last month compared to July 2014.
Long-haul routes were the key drivers, rising by 7% on the previous year as the airport reported two and a half years of consecutive month-on-month traffic growth.
Traffic on North Atlantic routes grew by 10.1%,= with New York routes up by 116% and Los Angeles up by 106%, largely driven by passenger take-up of Norwegian’s low-cost long-haul routes.
Long-haul leisure destinations are also performing well with Cape Verde up 119% and Trinidad up 96%.
Passenger demand for long-haul routes has also prompted a new British Airways non-stop route to Costa Rica from Gatwick in May 2016.
Chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Flights to long haul destinations are the fastest growing of the more than 220 destinations that Gatwick flies to today.
“These results put us ten years ahead of the forecasts used by the Airports Commission to predict future air traffic movements.
“Our growth in the last 12 months is actually more than the commission concluded could be added at Gatwick in the first year of a new runway being operational here – this is further proof of the flaws in the Airports Commission analysis and shows its conclusions are fast unravelling.
“Gatwick remains the best solution to solve the UK’s capacity conundrum. Gatwick can deliver the capacity the UK desperately needs an d the economic benefit that will bring while limiting the impacts on noise an d air quality.”
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