Gatwick today claimed to be “expansion ready” after revealing a 5.7% rise in August passengers to 4.8 million.
The monthly figure brought the number of annual travellers using the single runway airport up to a record of 42 million.
As Cathay Pacific’s new flights to Hong Kong commenced, long-haul routes at the airport have grown 25% over August 2015, with North Atlantic routes driving this growth with an increase of 51%.
Vancouver saw Gatwick traffic rise by 96%, Montreal by 63%, and Los Angeles by 51%.
Long-haul summer holiday destinations proving popular included Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands, up 64%; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, up 42%; and Aruba, up 29%.
Short-haul summer holiday destinations showing the biggest growth were Valencia, up 56%; Tivat, up 56% and Gibraltar, up 50%.
However, European charter traffic was down by 2.8% year-on-year to 286,000 passengers to give a reduced moving annual total of 6.2% to 2.9 million.
Routes to Ireland grew 13% while destinations in the UK and Channel Islands grew 9%, with Belfast International, up 102%; Newquay, up 39% and Inverness, up 18%. Average load factors stood at 91%.
Gatwick chief financial officer, Nick Dunn, said: “Politically, economically and environmentally the case for Gatwick expansion has never been stronger.
“We’re expansion ready – with this summer our busiest ever and the results of our increased investment attracting new airlines including Cathay Pacific’s new route to Hong Kong.”
He added: “Gatwick expansion would secure the same number of new routes and economic benefit Britain needs, can be delivered faster, with dramatically lower environmental impacts, and without the £5 billion of taxpayer funding Heathrow would require for surface access improvements.
“Momentum is with Gatwick as business leaders and politicians continue to unite behind us.
“Post-referendum, Britain needs certainty – Gatwick’s straightforward scheme which can be promptly delivered makes it the only choice.”
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