Gatwick spreads modest festive cheer as numbers pick up

Gatwick Airport is set to welcome nearly 750,000 passengers across the Christmas and New Year period.

The figure will likely be a 570 per cent increase on 2020 due to last year’s Covid-19 restrictions.

The holiday period is traditionally among the busiest of the year for Gatwick, outside of the summer peak, with the airport welcoming in excess of 1.6 million passengers between December 18-31 pre-pandemic.

The busiest days for departures this year are expected to be December 19th, 23rd and 26th, with approximately 33,000 – 35,000 passengers per day.

The most popular routes include Dublin (short-haul) and Cancun (long-haul).

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Passengers looking to get away this Christmas will be boosted by the arrival of two new airlines at Gatwick this week.

Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, began operating three-times weekly flights to Bangkok on December 16th, while regional airline Eastern Airways launched its daily service to Newquay on December 15th.

Popular low-cost airline Wizz also returned to Gatwick this week, with flights to Athens, Malta, Lanzarote and Malaga, while Emirates also restarted its daily service to Dubai earlier this month.

In total, 30 airlines are currently operating from Gatwick’s North Terminal.

Jonathan Pollard, chief commercial officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are encouraged by the number of people looking to travel this Christmas and enjoy a much-needed family break or to visit friends and family abroad.

“It is also positive to see the strong bookings for new and returning airlines, and we look forward to adding more routes and choice for passengers in the new year.”

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