‘Olympic effect’ blamed for passenger number fall at Gatwick

‘Olympic effect’ blamed for passenger number fall at Gatwick

Gatwick airport in London has seen a fractional drop in passenger numbers during the Olympic Games.

The airport reported a 0.1 per cent fall in passengers, down by around 4,000 to just under 3.63 million for the month of July.

Traffic on scheduled services to Europe, however, continued to increase versus the previous year but the growth rate of 4.2 per cent was lower than previous months in 2012.

Charter traffic to the same region continues to decline and there was also a fall in passengers on domestic and Irish routes.

New airlines operating routes to the Asian markets helped to increase passenger numbers on long-haul routes outside of the North Atlantic by 9.2 per cent, Gatwick said in a statement earlier.

In early August, Hong Kong Airlines decided to suspend its all-business class flights to London from September 2012 following a review of its European strategy as a result of the continuing weak economic outlook in Europe.

Commenting on Gatwick’s traffic report for July, Nick Dunn, chief financial officer at Gatwick Airport said: “We saw only a marginal drop in passenger traffic in July compared to last year.

“This is in line with industry expectations where fewer Britons were predicted to travel abroad in favour of staying at home to soak up the Games.

“It is also good to report another month of strong performance by our new carriers serving important high growth economies.

“They have helped boost growth to the Asian market by 9.2 per cent.”