Monday, 26 January 2015

Passenger Numbers up at London's Airports


Passenger numbers where up at London’s Heathrow Airport last year despite being operated close to capacity!.  Passenger numbers were up 1.4 % to 73.4 million last year, mainly due to a number of airlines deployed larger jets, including the Airbus A380 super jumbo to make the best use of highly prized slots.
 
However this was not a big an increase as enjoyed by Heathrow's rival for expansion, Gatwick, which managed an extra 2.7 million extra customers, that's an annual growth rate of7.6%. Gatwick operators say the record figures show that the UK  clearly needs an expanded airport that serves the widest range of travel modes, including low-cost flights with airlines like Ryanair and EazyJet.
 
Gatwick is currently the world's busiest single runway airport and shortlisted for expansion by a state-appointed Airports Commission and currently 38.1 million passengers pass through its doors each year.   “Airport expansion should be for the many not the few, and our broad range of growth underlines that Gatwick is the obvious solution,” Chief Financial Officer Nick Dunn said in a statement. “Expand Heathrow and we take a backwards step.”
 
There was also positive news for Global Infrastructure Partners - Gatwick's owners, their other airport, London City also saw a rise in passenger numbers.  Last year 3.65 million chose to fly from the docklands airport - an increase of 8% and well on track for the target growth number of 6 million by 2023.  
 
The Airport Commission’s final recommendations are due later this year after the May general election, however the current favourite is Heathrow, who have been very busy just lately persuading local councillors in the south east not to support rival Gatwick's plans. It has been an effective campaign seeing many councils and counsellors doing a complete U-turn on previous support.
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