Pre Covid, Gatwick Airport was the second busiest single runway airport in the world with
over 46 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2019. The airport’s long haul
network was fast expanding and business travel was increasing with British Airways,
Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic and other carriers such as Cathay Pacific, Air China, Qatar
Airways and China Eastern all offering long haul flights to different destinations across the
2020 was supposed to be a huge year for the airport as China Southern and Delta were due to start services from Wuhan, Boston, and Atlanta respectively.
Then in January 2020, the pandemic hit! When it comes to Airports globally during the
pandemic, I can’t think of many that were worse off than Gatwick. Three Months into the
Pandemic, Virgin Atlantic, one of the airport’s key airlines, completely cut all of its Gatwick
operations and moved all its London Operations to Heathrow. In addition to this Norwegian,
Gatwick’s largest Long Haul operator operates routes to numerous cities in the USA and
South America cut its long-haul fleet and decided to subsidise its short-haul operations in the Nordic countries.
As the pandemic drew on and on many other airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways
completely cut Gatwick permanently from their network as demand for travel kept becoming less and less. At the height of the pandemic, Gatwick was only using one terminal with very limited operation. During the whole of 2021, just over 6 million passengers traveled through Gatwick.
Post COVID Boom.
As the peak of the Pandemic began to fade towards the end of 2021, Gatwick’s push to
revitalise its long-haul network had begun. New transatlantic entrant JetBlue commenced
daily operations to JFK and British Airways reintroduced many of its long haul routes such as Orlando. As 2022 started many carriers such as Wizz Air and Vueling were massively increasing their operations at the airport with many new routes being introduced due to demand increasing and by the end of March 2022 Gatwick Airport reopened the South Terminal after an 18-month hiatus.
During 2022 as demand to travel grew the rebuild of Gatwick’s network was incredible. New airline Norse started daily flights to New York JFK, JetBlue expanded its operations with a double daily flight to Jfk and a daily flight to Boston, Qatar Airways reintroduced Doha, Emirates returned to its triple daily a380 operation and Bamboo Airways commenced weekly flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Many other based airlines such as British Airways and EasyJet further expanded their operations with more reintroduced flights that were axed during the pandemic.
Onto 2023! The growth this year so far has been nothing short of outstanding, especially the long haul growth. Airlines such as Air India introducing flights to Goa, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar, Delta commencing daily operations to JFK, Lufthansa restarting with double daily Frankfurt flights, Air China commencing daily Beijing although this has since changed to Shanghai, Norse commencing Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Washington Dulles and Now Saudia have commenced Jeddah flights and there is more to come!!
Starting June 26th China Eastern will recommence flights to Shanghai 4 weekly, Norse
adding Daily Los Angeles and three weekly San Francisco flights from 30th June and 1st
July respectively. British Airways adding Accra later on in the year and Air Mauritius starting
There is no airport in the world that is as exciting to hear about right now than Gatwick
Airport, is this just the start?
Article written by our Guest reporter Laurence Pennant-jones @Gatwick1Airport Travel 24/7