London Gatwick enjoys ‘strong’ first half of the year

London Gatwick’s interim financial results for the first half of 2023 show that it enjoyed a “strong” six months, despite what it called a “challenging operational environment”.

The airport’s revenue increased in the first half of 2023, compared to 2022, and it achieved an improved EBITDA and increased net profit in the half year ending June 30.

Its 2023 interim results reveal that 18.5 million passengers passed through the airport in the first six months of 2023, up 41% compared to the same period in 2022.

However, traffic was heavily impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions, particularly in Q1 2022.

During the six months, its revenue soared by 45% to £423.3 million on the same period a year ago. This Includes £212.7 million aeronautical income and £210.6 million from non-aeronautical sources, such as retail and parking.

Its operating costs (excluding depreciation, amortisation and exceptional costs) were £187.6 million for the period, up 31% on 2022.

While its EBITDA of £235.7 million was up 59% on 2022, with net profit for the period at £79.1 million, up 56%.

Challenging operational environment in Europe

While air traffic movements at London Gatwick remain below pre-pandemic levels at 86% for the period, the UK gateway noted that a greater number of air traffic control restrictions than normal, across large parts of Europe affected its on time performance.

Restrictions are put in place to manage and smooth out the flow of congested air traffic.

London Gatwick is working with airlines and ground handlers to ensure aircraft are ready to go for the first wave of departures early in the morning and throughout the rest of the day.

The airport also took proactive action to prevent ground handling industrial action this summer, ensuring flights could continue as normal.

A further 200 security officers were recruited ahead of the busy summer period, which helped the airport get 98% of passengers through security in less than five minutes. The airport also hit 99.6% of all measured service level requirements during the period.

Future sustainable growth

London Gatwick has published a six-year Capital Investment Programme setting out significant improvements to develop and enhance airport infrastructure and facilities, while also meeting the airport’s sustainability goals.

The programme has been consulted on and agreed with airlines, and includes:

• Investing over £250 million to meet the commitment to become a net zero airport by 2030 (for Scope 1 and 2 emissions), including replacing over 100 gas boilers

• A £120 million-plus extension to the existing Pier 6 in the North Terminal to provide eight new pier-served aircraft stands

• A £70 million programme to rehabilitate airport taxiways, with airfield resilience improved further with a new Rapid Exit Taxiway, reducing runway occupancy and aircraft taxi times

• A new £44.2 million, 3,250 space new multi storey car park in the North Terminal, due to open in Autumn 2024

• A £10-million pound plus redevelopment of the North Terminal departure lounge due to complete in 2024

London Gatwick’s planning application (known as a Development Consent Order (DCO) to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use was also accepted for detailed examination by the Planning Inspectorate on August 3 and will now be scrutinised in detail by a panel of independent inspectors.

A successful application, says the airport, would bring both resilience and additional capacity, while also generating around 14,000 new jobs and £1 billion for the region’s economy every year.

Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, said: “We worked closely with our partners to make sure the airport was well resourced ahead of the summer.

“This and the hard work of our frontline colleagues helped us provide passengers with a good level of service, despite a challenging operational environment across much of Europe.

“We will continue working closely with our airport partners to improve punctuality, supported by projects in our new Capital Investment Programme to build airport resilience and long-term sustainable growth.

“In this respect, I’m pleased that our planning application to bring our existing Northern Runway into routine use has moved forward to the examination stage.

“It’s also promising to see the airport’s recovery continue, as we once again provide passengers with more choice. Forty-nine airlines now fly from the airport to over 200 destinations, including 50 long-haul routes.”

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