London-Gatwick rebounds to profit after $1bn losses following the COVID pandemic

London-Gatwick Airport (LGW) is celebrating a return to profit in 2022 after experiencing significant financial losses as a result of the COVID pandemic.

On March 16, 2023, the UK’s second largest airport released its financial results for 2022 showing revenue over $935 million.

The figures represent a return to a profit of $237.75 million in 2022, after $1bn losses from 2020 and 2021.

Revenues were driven by a strong and steady recovery in passenger numbers throughout 2022 with demand at 70.4% of pre-pandemic levels, equating to 32.8 million passengers passing through the airport in the year ending December 31, 2022.

This includes aeronautical income ($489m), retail income ($192m) and car parking income ($123m).

Despite the encouraging figures bosses at Gatwick are keeping their feet on the ground, especially with current economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures.

“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,” said CEO, Stewart Wingate.

Gatwick places some of its success in 2022 down to the airport’s response to a surge in demand leading up to the summer when it took decisive action to ensure passenger disruption was minimal.

London Gatwick’s short-haul network was also the first to show strong recovery in 2022 and now serves 156 destinations, with easyJet flying 72% of those routes.

Short-haul is at 92% of flights flown pre-pandemic, while long-haul connectivity is taking longer to recover but has bounced back robustly in recent months, and now boasts 47 long haul routes – 76% of the number flown pre-pandemic.

The airport’s main runway was also resurfaced in half the time and for half the cost of traditional methods by resurfacing only the most ‘trafficked’ parts of its main runway.

Looking at the year ahead Air India will start flying to four new destinations from March 26 and Delta Air Lines returns to Gatwick with the airport’s fourth daily flight to New York from April 10.

From this summer Jet Blue, British Airways and Norse Atlantic Airways will also be operating new long-haul routes to North America and the Caribbean.

“The decisive actions we took early last year allowed us to offer good levels of service to passengers who travelled through Gatwick. This year we will have even more choice of airlines and destinations for travellers, whether flying for business or leisure,” Wingate added.

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