Twenty new long-haul routes will be established from Gatwick this year to destinations as diverse as Lagos and Lima.
This will establish Gatwick as one of an elite number in Europe with a network of more than 50 long-haul services, despite the loss of Vietnam Airlines and Garuda to rival Heathrow.
Airlines including British Airways, Norwegian, Cathay Pacific, WestJet and Air Canada will fly the 20 new long-haul routes to cities located on four continents. They include destinations across Canada and the US, Hong Kong, Peru, Cuba and Costa Rica.
A new fleet of high frequency Gatwick Express trains is also being introduced, doubling capacity at Gatwick in just two years.
The new Gatwick Express fleet will see four dedicated, non-stop trains between Victoria and the airport each hour, in both directions, with each of the 108 new carriages designed specifically for airport passengers.
The completion of the £6.5 billion Thameslink upgrade programme in 2018, including London Bridge station, will unlock the bulk of the new capacity.
More than1,100 new carriages will enter service on the line – running north to south through London, between Bedford and Brighton, serving both Gatwick and Luton airports.
The new trains will double capacity through Gatwick with a service leaving the airport for London every three minutes. Two new direct services will also be launched to Cambridge and Peterborough – one leaving to each city every 30 minutes.
The news coincided with Gatwick reporting that it achieved its busiest ever February with a 9% year-on-year rise to 2.7 million passengers.
Chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Gatwick is now in the premier league of European airports that fly to more than 50 long haul destinations.
“Our long-haul network can only increase as Gatwick grows and takes advantage of new aircraft that can fly further without the need to change at a hub.
“The launch of a new fleet of Gatwick Express trains heralds the start of a similar revolution of the airport’s rail services.
“New direct routes and tube-like frequency means passengers can have breakfast in Cambridge and be in San Francisco for dinner with a single change at Gatwick.
“With this growth and momentum behind us, it is more important than ever that Gatwick gets the green light so it can get on and start building a second runway.”
The 20 new long haul routes this year are:
- New York, US (British Airways)
- Lima, Peru (British Airways)
- San Jose, Costa Rica (British Airways)
- Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific)
- Boston, US (Norwegian)
- Oakland, US (Norwegian)
- Toronto, Canada (WestJet)
- St Johns, Canada (WestJet)
- Vancouver, Canada (WestJet)
- Calgary, Canada (WestJet)
- Edmonton, Canada (WestJet)
- Winnipeg, Canada (WestJet)
- Toronto, Canada (Air Canada)
- Orlando, US (Thomas Cook)
- Cayo Coco, Cuba (Thomas Cook)
- Liberia, Costa Rica (Thomson)
- Varadero, Cuba (Thomson)
- Columbo, Sri Lanka (Thomson)
- Freetown, Sierra Leone (Fly Salone)
- Lagos, Nigeria (Air Via)
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