BA enjoys rapid growth at Gatwick Airport
British Airways has reported a dramatic growth in operations at London Gatwick airport over the last five years.
The airline claims new routes and a better customer experience are driving strong growth in demand at at the Sussex-based hub, where its operation has seen 40 per cent more customers travel – increasing from 4.4m to 6.2m – and an increase of 33 per cent in the number of routes it serves, rising from 52 different destinations in 2012 to 68 in 2017.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ director of networks, alliances and Gatwick, said: “We’ve really focused on growing our Gatwick operation in the last five years, investing in new routes, driving punctuality and, thanks to our move to the South Terminal, delivered an improved airport experience.
“Although we have a staunch number of business travellers and destinations from Gatwick, many customers are flying for leisure, often on a BA Holidays trip. They want great prices and punctuality, and are driven by value and choice. In fact, we first launched our short-haul basic fare at Gatwick because we knew it would work for our customers before rolling it out across our network.”
Doyle said there had been “huge demand” for flights to North America, driven by new destinations such as Oakland in San Francisco Bay and Fort Lauderdale, and the carrier has also launched 19 new short-haul services to destinations such as Lanzarote, Malta, Rhodes and Limoges.
He added: “And critically for our travellers, last year we had the most punctual short-haul operation of the three biggest airlines flying from Gatwick to Europe. In fact, according to CAA figures, across all London airports, we outperformed easyJet’s punctuality by 15 percentage points and Ryanair’s by six percentage points in 2016, and we’re continuing to invest in our operational resilience to grow that difference even more.”
British Airways’ fleet at Gatwick has grown in the last five years with four more Boeing 777s (taking its total to 13), an additional nine A319s (from two to 11) and the introduction of 15 A320s, which have replaced 19 Boeing 737s. It has also moved to a new home in the airport’s South Terminal, which is proving popular with our customers, according to Doyle.
“It’s easy to find, and just a short walk from the train, plus the new premium check-in area, which has been designed with the same look and feel as Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, creates an elegant start to any trip,” he said.
“We expect customers to start checking-in a little earlier than usual to take advantage of our new lounge, which has 40 per cent more floor-space than its predecessor, sweeping views of the runway, amazing complimentary food and drink, a kidzone area and tonnes of practical features such as power sockets with UK, EU sockets and USB ports, upgraded lounge wi-fi and shower suites.
“We plan to carry on growing from Gatwick and will continue to explore and quickly react to any new opportunities, be they destinations or services that we think our customers will love. And it’ll all be delivered with the benefits of the customer care, generous baggage allowances, safety record and great network that our travellers know and expect from British Airways.”