London Gatwick annual results: Continued recovery of traffic drives strong financial performance

The continued recovery of traffic and the careful balancing of operating costs drove London Gatwick’s strong financial performance in 2023, the airport said today when publishing its 2023 financial results.
Passengers can currently choose from 56 airlines flying to 220 destinations.  This includes 169 short-haul destinations across a large European network and 51 long-haul routes.  New long-haul airlines flying from the airport in 2023 included Air India, Delta, Saudia, Air Mauritius, Ethiopian Airlines and China Southern.  This summer, 85 long-haul services will fly to Asia each week, including 26 to China.  Picture: Lonodon GatwickPassengers can currently choose from 56 airlines flying to 220 destinations.  This includes 169 short-haul destinations across a large European network and 51 long-haul routes.  New long-haul airlines flying from the airport in 2023 included Air India, Delta, Saudia, Air Mauritius, Ethiopian Airlines and China Southern.  This summer, 85 long-haul services will fly to Asia each week, including 26 to China.  Picture: Lonodon Gatwick
Passengers can currently choose from 56 airlines flying to 220 destinations. This includes 169 short-haul destinations across a large European network and 51 long-haul routes. New long-haul airlines flying from the airport in 2023 included Air India, Delta, Saudia, Air Mauritius, Ethiopian Airlines and China Southern. This summer, 85 long-haul services will fly to Asia each week, including 26 to China. Picture: Lonodon Gatwick

In particular, a string of new airlines and services to new destinations at the start of a busy summer season contributed to the increase in traffic. Recovery peaked - reaching 94% of 2019 levels - in July and October.

2023 results include

40.9 million passengers passed through the airport by year end – up 24.7% on 2022 - with passenger demand at 88% of pre-pandemic levels for the year.

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Revenue at £1,015.1 million (+30.7%), driven by the continued recovery in passenger numbers.

Revenue includes aeronautical income at £545.7 million (34.5%), retail income of £207.7 million (+30.9%) and car parking income of £132.8 million (+30.7%).

Profit for the period at £314.8 million (+69.9%), with EBITDA at £617.7 million (+38.4%).

Growing network of airlines and destinations

Passengers can currently choose from 56 airlines flying to 220 destinations. This includes 169 short-haul destinations across a large European network and 51 long-haul routes. New long-haul airlines flying from the airport in 2023 included Air India, Delta, Saudia, Air Mauritius, Ethiopian Airlines and China Southern. This summer, 85 long-haul services will fly to Asia each week, including 26 to China.

Improved levels of service for passengers

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During the overall successful year, the airport hit 99% of all measured service level requirements, supported by hard work of frontline colleagues. For example, the successful recruitment of 200 new security officers ahead of summer helped get 97% of passengers through security in under five minutes. Significant investment will also enhance the process with Next Generation Security screening equipment currently being installed across both airport terminals due for full operation by Q1 2025, after the busy summer peak.

The airport however acknowledges that it was regrettable that disruption did occur in the airport’s control tower towards the end of the 2023 summer season. The airport took a strong leadership position and facilitated closer collaboration between airport partners to provide more reliable timetables for passengers. Air traffic control provider, NATS, has since provided assurances and implemented significant changes to ensure reliable schedules in 2024.

Investing in sustainable growth

A fully redeveloped Gatwick train station opened in November 2023 and was the first significant project in a series of infrastructure improvements due to be completed. A Rapid Exit Taxiway is now also improving resilience by reducing runway occupancy and aircraft taxi times. Additionally, a redeveloped North Terminal departure lounge and a 3,250 space multi storey car park are due to complete this year (2024).

The airport’s new six-year Capital Investment Program was published in 2023 and includes a £250 million-plus commitment to become a net zero airport by 2030 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

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London Gatwick’s planning application (Development Consent Order) to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use, alongside its Main Runway, is currently being scrutinised in detail by a panel of independent inspectors. A successful application would deliver additional resilience and capacity, in line with Government policy, while also generating around 14,000 new jobs and £1 billion for the region’s economy every year.

Sustainability continues to evolve

In 2023, the airport achieved Level 4+ ‘Transition’ of the internationally recognised Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme – demonstrating London Gatwick’s commitment to reduce its direct emissions, and to driving third parties on the airport to reduce their emissions, in line with global climate goals.

Separately, London Gatwick today increased its reporting of Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions to enhance decision making and transparency. It is also exploring how a hydrogen eco-system might be created on campus to potentially reduce emissions from flights, alongside Sustainable Aviation Fuels.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, London Gatwick, said: “As ever, I want to thank every single colleague at London Gatwick for their hard work and contribution to our strong performance in 2023. The airport’s ongoing recovery was boosted by collaborative work with our airlines and partners and I’m proud that we continue to offer passengers a fantastic choice of airline and destination, whether flying short or long-haul.

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“Combined, our strong performing airline, retail and other revenue streams means we can once again invest in substantial airport improvements. Passengers will already have seen our fully redeveloped train station, new shops, bars and restaurants, and more exciting developments will complete over coming months and years.

“Longer term, our Northern Runway plans are at a critical stage in the process and we will continue putting forward our strong case. Ensuring that all growth is achieved sustainably is of course an ongoing priority and we will keep demonstrating and evolving our commitment to reduce our environmental impacts, contribute positively to local communities and help the economy to thrive."

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