Gatwick’s South Terminal reopened on Sunday after a hiatus of almost two years to coincide with the start of the summer flying schedule.
The airport and its partners have spent months refurbishing, cleaning, updating and testing facilities and equipment that has not been in use since the terminal closed during the pandemic on June 15, 2020.
The reopening comes as Gatwick goes from handling about 300 flights a day to one operating around 570 flights, making it the equivalent of opening a medium-sized airport overnight.
Many airlines that had been flying from North Terminal for the last 21 months have or are in the process of switching terminals between March 27 and 29, British Airways, Wizz Air, Vueling, Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Norwegian.
EasyJet, which will fly 120 routes from Gatwick, will operate from both terminals.
BA will operate 35 short haul routes to destinations across Europe, Wizz Air 25 European routes and Vueling a total of 16 routes, all from the reopened South Terminal.
April will see the highest number of departures from Gatwick (9,805) since December 2019, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.
The largest airline from Gatwick next month is scheduled to be easyJet, with 5,724 departures, followed by Vueling with 678 and BA in third place with 671.
Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “A lot of work has gone into preparing our South Terminal, and I would like to thank everybody involved as their combined efforts mean that today we are effectively opening a medium-sized airport overnight, which is no small task.
“We’re now ready and excited to welcome passengers back in large numbers, and our restaurants, shops, cafes and bars are also looking forward to serving passengers again before they jet off on holiday, to visit friends and family or take that vital business trip.
“After a difficult two years, we know there is significant pent-up demand for international travel, so I advise passengers to book early to make sure they secure the flights they want this summer.
“Reopening our South Terminal and the increase in the choice of flights our airlines are offering is also great news for our local communities, particularly people and their families who rely on the airport for their livelihood, and also the large number of support and supply businesses that depend on a successful airport.”