Gatwick passenger-boost plan announced
Tags: easyJet, gatwick airport, London Heathrow, luton airport, stansted airport
The owner of Gatwick Airport plans to cut fees, improve rail links and attract long-haul carriers in an effort to boost the airport’s annual passenger figures.
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which bought Gatwick from BAA Ltd for £1.5 billion in 2009, hopes that infrastructure improvements and more competitive rates for airlines will help boost passenger levels by 40%, to 45 million people per year.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive officer, believes it has the ability to emerge from Heathrow’s shadow to become London’s gateway for passengers who do not require connecting flights.
“As the second child in the family you’re in a difficult situation,” he said.
“Gatwick is easily the next-biggest UK airport after Heathrow, but it was never treated half as well as what is perceived to be the jewel in the BAA crown.”
In 2009, Gatwick was ranked at Europe’s eighth busiest airport, and figures suggest that 32 million passengers will pass through it this year.
Figures in 2007 revealed that 35.4 million passengers used the airport, and Mr Wingate believes these figures could increase in the future as easyJet Plc reconfigures its fleet to include planes with bigger passenger capacities.
Copyright Press Association 2010