Passengers using Gatwick are being urged to check their terminals as three major airlines switch departure and arrival points in the new year.

British Airways is moving to the South Terminal, Virgin Atlantic will switch to the North Terminal, and easyJet, which operates out of both terminals, will operate from the North Terminal only from January.

The moves will be staggered over 72-hours to ensure a seamless transition, according to the airport.

But all three airlines will run a reduced flying programme to simplify the process.

All easyJet flights will depart from the North Terminal from Janaury 24, while BA flights will depart from the South Terminal from January 25 and Virgin Atlantic flights will depart from the North Terminal.

About 50,000 passengers will be travelling with the three airlines on the 277 flights that will be relocating across the 72-hours.

As many as 10,000 Gatwick-based staff and 100 properties around the airport are directly affected by the moves.

A total of 37 operational trials have probed every part of the journey, from check-in to issuing boarding cards, to labelling baggage, passing through security with automated boarding card readers, right through to the airfield, with stand capability, fuelling and catering all being tested.

The airport is promising new facilities with the swapping of terminals, including state-of-the-art technology at check-in, security and immigration, new bag-drop zones an new lounges for BA and Virgin Atlantic lounges.

It will also simplify and streamline the journey through the airport for passengers.

Chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said: “We are ready to deliver this major step in Gatwick’s strategic transformation programme.

“The moves have been meticulously planned for more than two years, with close attention given to ensuring that the airport operation and the experience of our passengers is not affected during the transition.

“Relocating the airlines allows greater efficiency and positions all three carriers for growth, which in turn drives Gatwick’s growth. For our passengers, investment at every step of their journey through the terminal will be hugely beneficial.”

Gatwick is advising passengers to check their terminal before travelling.