31 August, 2020

Gatwick's first half 2020 passenger trends

In the six months ended 30 June 2020, 7.5 million passengers travelled through the Airport, a decrease of 14.7 million or 66.0% compared to the same period in the prior year. 

The primary reason for the decline in both air traffic movements and passengers was the collapse in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the effects of which began to be felt during February, increasing significantly in March and causing a near-complete drop in volume during April, May and June 2020.

Gatwick remained open throughout the whole period, servicing repatriation, freight, positioning and maintenance flights alongside a small number of scheduled services; there were days where only one passenger flight operated. Recovery was slowed during June due to the quarantine measures put in place by the UK Government. These were eased in early July but have been reintroduced for some important destinations (e.g. Spain), and many of the forecasted flights for the remainder of summer
depend upon the extent of the quarantine.

Ryanair and Belavia continued to operate throughout April and May, alongside Wizz, which flew for
most of the period. May did see the start-up of one new airline at Gatwick; Blue Islands, a Jersey-based carrier, began weekly services to the Island and saw reasonable load factors towards the end of the period. Air Baltic also announced a new service from Vilnius which launched on 1 July. 

Virgin Atlantic notified the airport's management that it plans to cease operations from Gatwick. In order to retain its slots and enable a return in future years as demand recovers, Gatwick understands that Virgin intends to lease its slots, however, none have been contracted out as of yet.  Norwegian, after restructuring, brought forward its plans to relaunch at Gatwick from April 2021  to 1 July 2020 with services to Oslo and Copenhagen. 

British Airways recommenced long haul operations, primarily to the Caribbean during the second half of July. Their short-haul operation has been consolidated at London Heathrow since April; Gatwick now expects this to continue until the start of the winter season.

Recommended for you...