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Gatwick hits world record of 60 long haul routes

Posted 3 July 2017 · Add Comment

A new service to Taipei, Taiwan, takes Gatwick's long haul network to 60 routes – the world's largest long haul network for a single runway airport and the fifth biggest of any European airport, as Gatwick also goes through the 45 million annual passengers milestone.


Courtesy Gatwick Airport  photographer Jeffrey Milstein

The new four-times a week China Airlines service will start on 1 December with other new long haul routes announced from Gatwick this year including Buenos Aires, Singapore, Denver, Seattle, Kigali and Vancouver.

According to the UK Government, Taiwanese business has long-standing expertise working in China, with around 80,000 Taiwanese companies located there.

Approximately 300 UK companies are currently located in Taiwan in financial and business services, ICT, telecommunications, infrastructure, environmental technology, creative industries and marine industries, with around 180 Taiwanese companies also based in the UK.

Approximately 30% of all Taiwanese who study overseas do so in this country and Taiwanese tourism to the UK has risen sharply since the lifting of the visa regime for visits of under 6 months in 2009.

Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome China Airlines to Gatwick as part of our flourishing long haul network.

“The airport is increasingly connecting the UK to more and more destinations in all four corners of the globe including in China, the wider Far East, Africa, South America and destinations across the US.

“Given the current political climate, these global connections will provide UK businesses with vital trading links and will help them get goods to important new markets.  We also stand ready to build a new runway to help drive further growth should the Government give us the green light to proceed.”

Gatwick’s impressive growth record with 44.1 million passengers passing through the airport in 2016/17 - an increase of 3.2 million passengers or 7.7%. This growth has been matched by record levels of service for its passengers with customer satisfaction and advocacy at an all-time high. Gatwick has also just completed the biggest year of investment in the airport’s history to deliver on its plans for growth.

Long-haul continues to be a success story with routes growing 13.6% and now represent one in five of Gatwick’s passengers. As capacity issues become a challenge, Gatwick will continue to see considerable growth in passenger numbers as airlines swap short haul for long haul services. Norwegian’s new route to Buenos Aires using a B787 Dreamliner, for instance, will replace a short haul European service in Gatwick’s schedule.

Gatwick is due to welcome the world’s longest low-cost long-haul route - to Singapore - this September. North Atlantic routes were up 38.7%, with the two new routes launched by Norwegian in the year, Las Vegas and Oakland, San Francisco, contributing to this growth. Norwegian are set to further increase their US routes from Gatwick with Denver and Seattle starting September 2017 and a further direct route to Buenos Aires starts in February.

Meanwhile, China Airlines will be adding to Gatwick’s Asia routes and starting a new service to Taipei in December 2017, bringing Gatwick’s total long-haul routes to 60.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, said: “It has been another record-breaking year and another chapter in the transformation of Gatwick. Our continued growth and success is a testament to record investment, increased competition, and our renewed focus on efficiency and service. It is a simple fact that, of the top 20 airports in the world by passenger growth, Gatwick is the only one with a single runway.

“Our world record passenger numbers and increased long haul connectivity has been matched by a transformed airport experience which our passengers have recognised by giving us all-time high service quality results. We have, this week, broken through the 45 million annual passengers mark which is 13 million passengers a year more than we served in 2009 when Gatwick came into independent ownership.

“Gatwick has a bright future – we will invest £240 million this year as we continue our £2.5 billion programme to improve our facilities, improve our service and passenger experience and improve our performance so we can realise our ambitious plans to grow even further.

“This will lay some of the physical groundwork for our continued growth. Improvements planned include an extension to Pier 6 and changes to the taxiway configuration to improve efficiency on the airfield even further.”

Average seats per air traffic movement increased by four seats per movement reflecting the airport’s increased long-haul flights. Meanwhile, air traffic movements increased by 4.9% to 280,000 ATMs annually, with the airport serving more than 177,000 passengers in its busiest day. Gatwick’s vital role within the UK economy was demonstrated by growth on domestic routes of +10.3%, as passengers took advantage of the regional services available from the London airport best connected to the rest of the UK.

 

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