Gatwick is to push ahead with £250 million-worth of development projects despite losing out to rival Heathrow for the right to build a new runway.
However, the airport stressed that it remains a “credible and deliverable option” for runway expansion.
The £250 million spend over the next financial year is part of a £1.2 billion previously announced five-year investment.
This includes expansion of departure lounges and shops at the airport’s two terminals, a revamp of Gatwick’s railway station, more car parking and additional pier capacity for aircraft.
January will see British Airways move to the South Terminal and Virgin Atlantic switch to the North Terminal. EasyJet, which currently operates out of both terminals, will consolidate its operations in the North Terminal.
The investment news came as the airport reported half year revenue up 8.1% to £445.2 million and pre-tax profit of £116 million.
Combined with carefully controlled cost management, this resulted in EBITDA up 9.8% to £264.5 million and a profit before tax of £116.0 million.
The result for the six months to September 30 came as passenger numbers rose by 6.3% to a record 25 million on the same period last year.
Long haul routes grew by 21%, with North Atlantic routes up by 40% helped by the start of WestJet summer flights to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, St John’s.
Norwegian also started a new route to Oakland San Francisco which contributed to a more than doubling of the airline’s passengers from Gatwick.
Growth on domestic routes of 7% came as passengers took advantage of the regional services available from the airport.
CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick represents the changing face of aviation – demonstrated by today’s results.
“We continue to grow strongly breaking records as passengers respond to the variety on offer at the airport, low-cost, charter airlines and full services airlines. All now flying more passengers on more flights to more global destinations than ever.
“Our long-haul routes have grown 21% with the very latest of these British Airways’ new route to Cape Town starting today. Meanwhile, next summer Gatwick will start the UK’s only direct route to Xi’an China – home of the Terracotta Army.
“This year destinations in China, Peru, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, as well as the US have been added to the airport’s line-up of long-haul routes whilst The Airport Council International have recognised that Gatwick is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates Gatwick’s ongoing commitment to our development and growth, maintaining our vital role within the UK economy as we continue to offer the UK government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”
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