Gatwick August growth pegged back by Olympics

Passenger growth at Gatwick was limited to a marginal rise of 0.2% to 3.8 million in August due to the London Olympics.

The UK’s second-largest airport saw an increase in late holiday bookings as the Games ended.

Charter traffic to Europe continued to decline and there was also a fall in passengers on domestic and Irish routes.

New airlines operating routes to Asia helped to increase passenger numbers on long-haul routes outside of the North Atlantic by 8.2%.

But Hong Kong Airlines suspended its business class service from yesterday (Monday), blaming the weakening European economy combined with the strength of the regional business within Asia.

Aegean Airlines is to start daily flights to Athens and Aer Lingus is to introduce three flights a day to Belfast this winter.

Gambia Bird – a new German-backed airline in Africa – confirmed the start of two flights a week to Banjul from October 3.

Gatwick’s chief financial officer, Nick Dunn, said: “The excitement of the Games saw fewer Britons jet abroad on holiday in the first two weeks of August than last year, although there was an increase in late holiday bookings post the closing ceremony and this has continued into September.

“This saw the overall departing passenger numbers for the month being 1.3% higher than the prior year.”

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