Long haul surge takes Gatwick past 8 million summer holiday passengers for first time ever


  • 4.9m passengers travelled through Gatwick in August marking the airport’s busiest ever month (up 2.1%) with +25.6% growth in cargo
  • 8.1 million passengers travelled through Gatwick in the biggest-ever school summer holidays
  • Long-haul destinations +11.1% in August

London Gatwick has achieved the busiest school summer holidays in its history with 8.1 million passengers travelling through the airport over the seven-week period. This is a 2.1% increase on 2016 and the first time Gatwick has ever reached the eight million passengers mark during the summer break.

This August alone, 4.9 million passengers travelled through Gatwick resulting in the biggest month in the airport’s history.

A substantial rise in passengers taking long-haul summer breaks played a part in Gatwick’s overall growth, with the airport’s long-haul destinations growing by 11.1% compared with last year’s summer holiday.

Gatwick’s long-haul growth helped to boost the amount of cargo handled by the airport too, with August seeing a 25.6% increase compared with the same month last year.

As students head back to school Gatwick reveals where Brits are increasingly choosing to spend their summer holidays and the destination trends in travellers’ choices.

Top ten biggest-growing Summer 2017 long-haul destinations

  1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida                                              +369.2%
  2. St Lucia                                                                       +209.9%
  3. Oakland, San Francisco                                             +183.5%
  4. Varadero, Cuba                                                          +117.7%
  5. Ilha Do Sal Cape Verde                                              +45.4%
  6. Los Angeles International                                            +42.8%
  7. Kingston, Jamaica                                                      +41.1%
  8. Antigua                                                                        +36.8%
  9. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic                              +35.4%
  10. Hurghada                                                                    +33.4%

Top ten biggest-growing Summer 2017 short-haul destinations

  1. Ljubljana, Slovenia                                                      +118.1%
  2. Figari, Corsica                                                             +64.3%
  3. Brindisi, Italy                                                                +56.5%
  4. Pristina, Kosovo                                                          +53.2%
  5. Stavanger, Norway                                                     +38.2%
  6. Aalborg, Denmark                                                      +36.5%
  7. Lisbon, Portugal                                                          +34.3%
  8. Burgas, Bulgaria                                                         +29.3%
  9. Keflavik, Iceland                                                         +26.9%
  10. Oslo, Norway                                                              +24.3%

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:

“Gatwick has just had its biggest-ever month during its busiest-ever summer holiday period -this clearly demonstrates the passenger demand for the growing global connectivity offered by Gatwick. Later this year, we’ll be further adding to our more than 60 long-haul connections with routes to Denver, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Taipei and Singapore starting.

“As well, we continue to focus on delivering the best passenger experience at the airport with Jamie Oliver opening his new Diner in the South Terminal and an expanded World Duty Free store also arriving in the North.

“Service has been at the forefront of our summer. We have worked closely with our airlines and ground handlers to help ensure that more planes depart on time and I am pleased with the improvement we’ve made during our busiest ever summer.

“As Gatwick continues to grow beyond 45 million annual passengers, we remain ready and willing to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the Government give us the green light.”

Month   Moving Annual Total
Growth Sep-16 Sep-15 Growth
Aug-17 Aug-16 (%)   Aug-17 Aug-16 (%)
Total terminal passengers (000s) 4,907.5 4,807.3 2.1% 45,283.4 42,148.6 7.4%
Market Analysis:
UK + Channel Islands 364.1 361.1 0.8% 4,104.1 3,752.3 9.4%
Ireland 150.6 146.3 2.9% 1,687.7 1,545.8 9.2%
European scheduled 3,374.9 3,347.4 0.8% 29,286.8 27,848.2 5.2%
European charter 278.3 286.8 (2.9)% 3,107.0 2,990.5 3.9%
North Atlantic 383.9 348.8 10.0% 3,063.8 2,379.0 28.8%
Other long haul 355.6 316.9 12.2% 4,034.0 3,632.9 11.0%
Air transport movements 28,388 28,271 0.4% 286,478 275,495 4.0%
Cargo (metric tonnes) 8,035 6,396 25.6% 88,183 73,815 19.5%


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