A 45% increase year-on-year in connections to the Far East helped fuel a 1.1 million spike in long-haul passengers travelling via Gatwick airport during the 12 months to March 31.
Total passenger numbers increased to 46.4 million last year, driven by a 14.3% increase in long-haul passengers, with around one in five now travelling to and from Gatwick long-haul.
New global connections added over the past 12 months included the launch of China Eastern Airlines route to Shanghai in December and Norwegian’s Rio service, which got under way in March.
Gatwick claims its growth in passenger numbers has been “balanced” by a 7% reduction in the airport’s noise footprint.
The airport on Tuesday (18 June) posted a full-year post-tax profit of £208 million, up 2.9% on last year, based on a 6.1% increase in revenue to £811 million.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 7.3% to £441 million while income per passenger increased 4.5% to £17.47.
Full-year capital investment in improving passenger facilities, infrastructure and operational performance ran to just shy of £250 million, the funds forming part of the airport’s five-year £1.1 billion investment programme.
The results follow Vinci Airport’s move for a 50.01% controlling stake in the airport, with previous majority stakeholder Global Infrastructure Partners holding the remaining 49.99% interest.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief executive, said: “Over the last year, we have achieved strong passenger growth matched by a reduction in our local noise footprint; robust financial results matched by record levels of investment back into the airport; and growing global connections fuelling increased trade and tourism opportunities.
“These strong results give us a firm foundation for future sustainable growth, and later this year we look forward to publishing our final masterplan which will help set the long-term growth and development plan for Gatwick.”