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Gatwick passenger growth hampered by Monarch collapse

City A.M. Friday, 10 November 2017 ()
The collapse of Monarch slowed passenger growth at London Gatwick last month, down from September's 2.7 per cent rise, though it was still a 1.4 per cent increase on the same time last year.

The airport said Monarch had carried 4.5 per cent of the airport's flights, an average of 285 flights per week. Prior to Monarch ceasing trading at the beginning of last month, Gatwick's passenger growth had been at 7.1 per cent as a monthly average for the year. It is now at 6.5 per cent.

*Read more*: British Airways owner IAG eyeing collapsed Monarch's Gatwick slots

The airport still flew to its busiest October to date however, with 3.9m passengers travelling through the airport during October, with long-haul traffic rising by 13.3 per cent.

Gatwick, which has in recent weeks been looking to reopen the runway debate in an effort to press on with its own expansion plans, added 22 new long-haul routes over the past year. These include Cape Town, Singapore, Chicago and Austin.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: "We’re on the verge of serving 46m passengers this year, up from 31m in 2010. That’s a 50 per cent increase in total passenger numbers in just seven years.

"Alongside this passenger growth we’ve also invested to improve experience at the airport, reducing queuing times, adding more choice in retail, improving our on-time performance and achieving record-levels of passenger satisfaction."

Wingate added: "Passengers are voting with their feet to choose Gatwick - all we need now is a way to satisfy their growing demand."

It was announced earlier this week that Monarch had lost its battle over the rights to take-off and landing slots, believed to be worth as much as £60m, that it had wanted to exchange with other carriers to raise money for creditors.

Administrator KPMG said it will appeal the ruling "as a matter of urgency".

British Airways owner IAG, Norwegian, and EasyJet are among the airlines interested in acquiring some of the leftover slots, with IAG boss Willie Walsh saying last month: "I think everybody's interested in slots at Gatwick."

*Read more*: Monarch administrators to appeal lost court ruling over £60m airport slots
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