Gatwick Airport gears up for 'really busy' summer

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Bosses at Gatwick Airport are gearing up for a ‘really busy’ summer season as the aviation industry continues to recover from pandemic restrictions.

And Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate says it will mean a growing number of airport jobs available.

He spoke out as the airport revealed its yearly financial results today (Thursday) which show that Gatwick returned to profitability in 2022 for the first time since the pandemic and was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about a full recovery.

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Last year, a cap was placed on the number of flights at Gatwick because of airline and ground handling staff shortages. Airport officials are confident that will not happen this year.

Gatwick Airport is gearing up for a 'really busy' summerGatwick Airport is gearing up for a 'really busy' summer
Gatwick Airport is gearing up for a 'really busy' summer

"We have been working with the airlines to make sure they have sufficient staff,” Stewart said, “but there are still opportunities for people to join Gatwick Airport.” Security staff and retail workers are currently being sought.

"As we look forward to 2023 we are expecting strong levels of recovery, particularly in the summer months but we think it will be more ‘peaky’,” said Stewart. “The summer season is going to be really busy. We are making sure we are well-resourced.”

Last year passenger demand rose to 70.4 per cent of pre-pandemic levels with 32.8 million passengers passing through the airport, but demand is expected to reach a peak of 94 per cent this summer.

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A rise in air traffic will also take place if the airport’s plans to bring its emergency ‘northern’ runway into full-time use go ahead.

Stewart said: “This year we will have even more choice of airlines and destinations for travellers, whether flying for business or leisure. While we still have some way to go to reach a full recovery, we know long-term sustainable investment is critical to the future of our airport and provides a significant boost to the regional and national economy.

"This year we are pushing forward with a number of projects to improve resilience and the overall passenger experience, including preparing our planning application to bring the existing Northern Runway into routine use.”

It is hoped to submit the planning application later this year with a decision being made in 2024.