Gatwick welcomed 43 million passengers in 2016, cementing its position as the world’s most efficient single runway airport.
This new annual record came on December 22nd last year, a month in which the airport achieved 3.1 million passengers, up 15 per cent on December last year.
The airport’s booming long-haul services grew by 26.8 per cent.
Indeed, as a result of this increase in long-haul services, Gatwick’s cargo increased 13.3 per cent in metric tonnage.
Today, at the start of the New Year, Gatwick Airport has released its biggest growing destinations during 2016.
Holidaymakers have been inspired by Prince Harry’s travels with Toronto being the long-haul destination with the biggest passenger increase, 191,124 passengers (up 97 per cent) in 2016, versus the previous year.
Meanwhile, the Game of Thrones effect is well and truly established as Belfast International saw the biggest increase in passenger numbers, an increase of 388,486 passengers (up 83 per cent), versus 2015.
In 2017 the airport forecasts that the most popular long-haul destinations will include Barbados, Dubai, Jamaica, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and Vancouver, while in short-haul Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Barcelona and Venice will occupy the top spots.
Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Three million more passengers are travelling through the airport this year versus the same time last year, with 43 million passengers now passing through the airport annually.
“A figure that puts us 14 years ahead of industry predictions.
“This milestone is an impressive conclusion to 2016, the year that saw the 80th anniversary of the very first flight from Gatwick.
“Gatwick’s booming long-haul services and increased cargo volumes illustrate the vital contribution the airport continues to make to the local and national economy, in the airport’s busiest-ever December, as we continue to offer the UK Government a credible and deliverable option for runway expansion.”