London Gatwick ended 2017 with its busiest December on record, as 3.2 million passengers travelled through the airport during the festive month, an increase of 1.5 per cent year-on-year.
A total of 45.6 million passengers used the airport in 2017, up 5.2 per cent on 2016.
After a year of continued booming growth in Gatwick’s long-haul connections, with new routes including Singapore, Rwanda, Seattle and Denver, December saw a 16 per cent year-on-year rise in passengers travelling long-haul.
The airport’s long-haul network grew to 63 connections in 2017, and Gatwick welcomed 7.3 million long-haul passengers across the year – an increase of almost one million compared with 2016.
Oakland, San Francisco proved to be the long-haul destination with the biggest growth at Gatwick in December, as the number of passengers travelling there increased by 97 per cent on the previous year.
Meanwhile, Gatwick’s growing global connectivity continues to drive a surge in the volume of cargo handled by the airport – tonnage was up 33.6 per cent in December.
Gatwick Airport, chief executive, Stewart Wingate said: “Last year was a great year for Gatwick in which we delivered record passenger growth and an array of new long-haul routes, bringing our annual passenger total to 45.6 million and extending our long-haul network to 63 connections.
“Gatwick’s soaring long-haul and cargo growth in December is an impressive conclusion to 2017 and we’ll be strengthening the airport’s global connectivity even further this year, with new services to Buenos Aires, Austin and Chicago already confirmed to begin in the first quarter alone.
“This year, we’re also looking forward to British Airways’ biggest summer schedule at Gatwick for almost ten years, which will see 15 per cent more weekly BA flights than last summer.
“We have ambitious plans to build on the success achieved in 2017 and reach 50 million passengers per year and beyond, setting new standards for Gatwick and playing an increased global role for Britain.”