Gatwick by numbers

Gatwick became an aerodrome in the 1930s, but the airport we know today opened in 1958 with just 186,000 passengers passing through the airport in our first year of operation.

Aerial pic of Gatwick

Today, it's a different story. We're open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we now help take more than 44 million passengers to 228 destinations in 74 countries around the world every year. 

Here you can find out about Gatwick Airport and:

Our topline statistics for 2016
Information and facts about our airlines and routes we fly to
Some detail about our passengers
More about the rail revolution
Our facilities
The economy and our workforce
Our awards 

Who we are

London Gatwick operates the world’s most efficient single runway and is the second largest airport in the UK. Uniquely, we're home to a mix of airline operators from scheduled to low-cost and charter airlines.  Fifty-three airlines currently operate (as at December 2016) regularly from the airport including easyJet, British Airways, Norwegian, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines and WestJet.

We are the biggest base for easyJet, one of Europe’s most successful airlines, and we're also home to key charter operations such as Thomson and Thomas Cook. We're also the airport with most connections to and from other UK regions, with significant numbers of passengers travelling on Flybe, easyJet and Aurigny. 

In addition to the major long haul leisure operations of British Airways and Virgin, we are now seeing the emergence of long haul services to the Far East, with the arrival of Turkish Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Tianjin Airways. These complement the existing long haul services provided by airlines such as Emirates, WestJet, and Norwegian.

Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is the largest shareholder. Back to top

Key stats 2016

  1. Gatwick flies to more destinations than any other UK airport (Source OAG)
  2. Total passengers: 43.1 million 
  3. Aircraft movements: 275,633 (number of flights arriving and departing) 
  4. Total cargo: 77,995 metric tonnes 
  5. Total number of aircraft seats: 50,916,190 
  6. Average number of passenger per flight: 156 
  7. Average load factor: 85% 
  8. Biggest airline: EasyJet carrying 17.4m passengers 
  9. Fastest growing route: Belfast International (+83%) 
  10. Top route by passenger numbers: Barcelona (1.3m passengers) Back to top

We release our traffic figures monthly and you can keep up to date the with latest ones here.

Our airlines and destinations

In an open market where airlines can choose where to fly from, Gatwick has been competing successfully with other London airports to win new routes to the UK’s key trading partners, as well as leisure destinations. In 2016, six new airlines began operating from the airport, and between them our 53 airlines added 45 more destinations from Gatwick. 

New airlines in 2016


In recent years, we have attracted new routes to, Turkey, the USA, Canada, Central and South America and Asia. We continue to fly direct to more Europeans destinations than any other airport and in 2016 had new routes (amongst others) to Germany, Iceland, Finland and Spain.. We have also seen growth from some of our established carriers including easyJet and Norwegian. 

Top 10 airlines by share of passengers 


Top 10 routes by passenger numbers

Top growing routes by passenger number

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Passenger profile

  • Sex: Male 47%; Female 53%
  • Socio-economic group: AB: 40%; C1: 42.5%; C2: 12.5%; DE: 5%
  • Nationality: UK 63%; Overseas 37%
  • UK business 10 %
  • UK leisure 60 %
  • Overseas business 7 %;
  • Overseas leisure 23 %

How passengers get to Gatwick

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Transport facts

  • Gatwick was the world’s first airport to have a direct mainline train link with a dedicated railway station
  • Gatwick is already the UK’s best connected airport by rail and directly connects to more stations than any other European airport
  • Number of direct rail connections: more than 129
  • Time by rail to central London: 30 mins
  • By 2018 there will be a train every three minutes to London
  • By 2024 there will be 50 trains departures every hour and a train to London every 2.5 minutes.

Gatwick has the largest rail catchment of any UK airport and 15 million people can access Gatwick by rail within 60 minutes.

Oyster and contactless:

Gatwick is now part of the Oyster and Contactless payment network, meaning rail passengers can benefit from seamless connections to and throughout the capital on London’s ticketless transport network

Increased capacity:

With new trains, investment and technology, capacity on rail services is set to double by 2020 and nearly treble by 2035.


  • Number of runways: 1
  • Runway length: 3,316m long by 45m wide
  • Number of terminals: 2 - South (opened in 1958) and North (opened in 1988)
  • South Terminal is 160,000 square metres of which 14,768 square metres is retail facilities
  • North Terminal is 98,000 square metres of which 12,530 square metres is retail facilities
  • There are 143 stands in total at Gatwick Airport:


      71 pier served stands split roughly 50:50 between each terminal
    • 72 remote stands serviced by coaches
  • We have 346 check-in desks. 187 in South Terminal and 159 in North Terminal. In addition, there are 69 self-service kiosks. Back to top

Our workforce and economy

  • Around 24,000 staff work on the Gatwick campus across 252 different companies
  • Gatwick Airport itself employs around 2,800 people directly of which 1,800 are security staff
  • 25% of all staff working at the airport are cabin crew
  • As well as providing 24,000 jobs, the airport also creates a further 12,000 jobs indirectly 
  • The airport directly generates £1.6 billion for the UK economy. Back to top


We're proud of Gatwick Airport and our achievements. We've been working hard to improve every aspect of Gatwick since being made independent in December 2009, and we're delighted that some of our hard work is being recognised by external organisations. Don't think that we're resting on our laurels though - we're still working hard every day to give our passengers the best possible airport experience.

National Transport Awards 2017
Airport of the year

Airports Going Green 2017
Outstanding sustainability programme 

Digital Impact Awards 2017
Digital in-house team of the year and best corporate app

Airport Operators Association 2017
UK’s best airport, best solution – waste plant and best overall campaign for our airfield safety week

London Construction Awards 2017
Process innovation of the year for North Terminal development 2017
Favourite UK airport for food and drink, most stress-free UK airport security experience and favourite airport for short-haul flights

Biodiversity benchmark 2017
The Biodiversity Benchmark is a nationally recognised standard for commitment to biodiversity and responsible land management.

Loo of the year 2016

Carbon Trust Standard Triple Certification 2016 
We are one of a small number of organisation to have been awarded triple certification to Carbon Trust Standard for reducing carbon emissions and water use, and improving waste management.

Investors in People Gold Standard (Iip) 2016 
Gatwick was awarded Investors in People (IiP) status in 2013 and in 2016 we were awarded the highest level of award, jumping up three levels since 2013. IiP is a well-established, international framework that helps organisations to understand and improve how people contribute to the success of an organisation.

Biodiversity Benchmark 2014 
We were awarded The Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark Award for the first time in December 2014. 

Business Travel Awards 2014
Best UK airport

National Transport Awards 2013
Airport of the year

Digi CorpComms award 2013
Best use of digital media in customer services 

RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2013
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Gold Award

British Parking Awards 2013
Exceptional customer service

Business Travel Awards 2013
Best UK airport

British Travel Awards 2012
Best UK airport

Travel Agents Choice Awards 2012
UK airport of the year

Simpliflying Awards 2012
Best airport in social media – highly commended

Moodies Awards 2012
Best mobile website – highly commended

Loo of the year 2012
Winner, transport sector (for our South Terminal toilets)
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