Gatwick had a milestone moment this November as 3 million passengers passed through its doors.
Overall traffic at the airport has grown by 5.7% and the number of passengers flying to long haul destinations has increased by 11.9%, writes Olivia Rook.
Two of the best long-haul performers in growth terms were Kigali in Rwanda which grew by 134.1% while Sri Lanka’s Colombo increased by 110%.
Early trips to visit Santa in Lapland helped drive passengers to the airport, with the number of passengers travelling to Tromso and Rovaniemi rising by 62.8% and 53.9% respectively.
Gatwick recently revealed that it is offering more flights to Lapland than any other UK airport this winter.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, said: “November’s record-breaking passenger numbers highlight the imperative role that Gatwick continues to play for the country.
"The growth in the number of passengers travelling to Kigali is a great example of how our extensive range of long-haul routes is being embraced by business and leisure travellers from across the UK."
The latest growth figures comes as a YouGov poll of 103 MPs revealed that 74% support Gatwick’s expansion plans by making better use of their runways.
An earlier poll of residents in Surrey, Sussex and Kent, the counties closest to the airport, found that the same proportion of the 3,000 adults surveyed also support the plans.
Wingate said: “It’s pleasing to see that, in a YouGov poll of MPs, 74% support our plans to increase capacity.
"We’re continuing to seek feedback on our draft master plan from the public, including local neighbours and airport partners, as we work to fulfil our role for the country in the most sustainable way.”