easyJet is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its base at London Gatwick.
The start of the carrier’s operation, with a single Gatwick-based aircraft and locally employed crew, began with just a handful of routes – the first being Barcelona on February 1st, 2002.
The route was later joined by new routes to Edinburgh, Zurich, Malaga and Palma throughout the same month.
Previously, flying had only been in-bound from its bases in Geneva, Nice and Amsterdam.
Since then the airline has grown to become Gatwick’s largest and also easyJet’s largest base on its entire network.
The airline will operate 79 aircraft from the airport this summer and now serves over 120 routes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
EZY813 from London Gatwick to Barcelona was the very first flight operated by London Gatwick-based crew on a Boeing 737 aircraft which departed at 11:15 on February 1st, 2002, with 137 passengers onboard. Since then the airline has flown over 200 million passengers to and from the airport.
easyJet now has an all Airbus A320 family fleet including the more efficient neo type which both more fuel efficient and quieter and introduced its first ever A321 neo into the fleet in 2018 which was also based Gatwick.
easyJet flew around 19 million passengers to and from the airport in 2019 and continues to grow.
The airline has just added over 1.1 million additional seats on sale from the airport next for summer meaning passengers have an even greater choice of low fared flights when choosing where to take their next trip.
Ali Gayward, easyJet UK country manager, said: “easyJet is delighted to be celebrating 20 years at our London Gatwick base, our largest base in the network.
“Over the last two decades we have remained committed to providing even more choice for our customers travelling to and from the airport, growing our operation to become Gatwick’s largest airline.”