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Traffic recovery and sustainability top of mind for London Gatwick


London Gatwick Airport has today published its financial results for 2022, and recognising the urgent need to make net zero a reality has accelerated its commitment to be net zero for its own Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030, 10 years ahead of its previous commitment.

This commitment, it says, is aligned with both VINCI Airports’ environmental action plan, which aims for all its EU airports to be net zero by 2030, and GIP’s strong commitment to decarbonisation action.

The UK gateway says that this will be achieved by investing over £250 million to reduce carbon emissions, such as moving to an electric vehicle fleet and replacing gas boilers and refrigerants with low carbon alternatives.

The airport will also continue to reduce overall energy use, invest in on-site renewable energy, including solar power, and source renewable electricity through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), to further continue London Gatwick’s role in helping the UK to decarbonise.

London Gatwick states that it will share more details on plans to deliver against its climate goals in the coming months.

London Gatwick 2022 results include:

• Passenger demand at 70.4% of pre-pandemic levels, with 32.8 million passengers passing through the airport in the year ending 31 December 2022.
• Revenue at £776.6 million, driven by a strong and steady recovery in passenger numbers throughout 2022. This includes aeronautical income (£405m), retail income (£159m) and car parking income (£102m).
• Returned to a profit of £196.5 million in 2022, after over £830 million of losses from 2020 and 2021.
• EBITDA at £446.3 million.

Despite returning to profitability the airport remains cautiously optimistic about a full recovery, given the current economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures.

Looking back at 2022, the gradual removal of travel restrictions, and the return of discipline to UK airport slot regulations put London Gatwick in a good position

As widely reported the rapid upturn in demand during Q2 2022 drove significant operational challenges across the aviation sector. In response, London Gatwick took early and decisive action working closely with the airport’s partners, including the airlines, to ensure passenger disruption was minimised during the peak summer months.

During 2022, London Gatwick made a significant investment by completing an innovative project to resurface its main runway – in half the time and for half the cost of traditional methods, improving the airport’s operational resilience and allowing a saving of embodied carbon during the construction phase.

Further investment will also see a fully redeveloped airport train station completed later this year, work beginning to upgrade the North Terminal international departure lounge, and the airport is continuing the preparation of its planning application (Development Consent Order) to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use.

London Gatwick’s short haul network was 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.

Significantly, Air India will start flying to four new destinations later this month (26 March), Delta Air Lines returns to London Gatwick with the airport’s fourth daily flight to New York (10 April) from this summer, along with Jet Blue, British Airways and Norse Atlantic Airways also operating new long haul routes to North America and the Caribbean.

Airport CEO, Stewart Wingate, said: “The decisive actions we took early last year allowed us to offer good levels of service to passengers who travelled through Gatwick.

“Thank you to all colleagues across our airport, who supported the operation last year as travel restrictions eased and passengers started to travel. This year we will have even more choice of airlines and destinations for travellers, whether flying for business or leisure.

“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.

“This year we are pushing forward with a number of projects to improve resilience and the overall passenger experience, including preparing our planning application to bring the existing Northern Runway into routine use.

“Central to this is our commitment for our business to be net zero for scope 1 and 2 by 2030. The aviation industry is addressing the challenges, and we are working closely with our stakeholders to ensure we create a sustainable airport for the future.”

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