Gatwick airport rakes in millions from parking and retail
- Gatwick Airport raised £210.6m from “non-aeronautical sources” in the first half
- The figures come amid flight chaos following a failure in air traffic control.
Gatwick Airport saw its first-half profit rise by almost two-thirds as demand for travel increased, but said air traffic remains below pre-pandemic levels due to “difficult” restrictions across Europe.
The airport, near Crawley in West Sussex, reported a pre-tax profit of £100.2m for the six months to June 30, up 65 per cent from £60.7m a year ago.
Revenue in the first half rose 45 per cent to £423.5m, with nearly half, or £210.6m, coming from “non-aeronautical sources”, including parking and retail.
Flights: Gatwick airport has seen its profits skyrocket in the first half
Underlying earnings rose 59 per cent to £235.7 million, from £148.3 million a year ago, and early 2022 was still affected by pandemic travel restrictions.
The group said air traffic remained below levels seen in 2019 before Covid-19 hit, at 86 percent, as it faced a “challenging” operating environment in Europe, beset by control restrictions. of air traffic and industrial actions, which caused cancellations and delays in all airlines. .
The figures come amid ongoing flight chaos following an air traffic control failure that has left many passengers stranded abroad in one of the busiest weeks of the summer holiday season.
The failure, which led to a series of cancellations and delays, was caused by flight data received by the National Air Traffic Services, and both the primary and backup systems responded by suspending automatic processing.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive of London Gatwick, said: “We worked closely with our partners to ensure the airport had sufficient resources before the summer.
“This and the hard work of our frontline colleagues helped us provide passengers with a good level of service, despite the challenging operating environment in much of Europe.”
In charge: Stewart Wingate is the chief executive of London Gatwick
He adds: ‘We will continue to work closely with our airport partners to improve on-time performance, supported by projects from our new Capital Investment Program to build airport resilience and long-term sustainable growth.
‘In this regard, I am pleased that our planning application to put our existing North Runway into routine use has moved into the review stage.
‘It is also promising to see the recovery of the airport continue as we once again offer passengers more choice. Currently, forty-nine airlines fly from the airport to more than 200 destinations, including 50 long-haul routes.
A Gatwick spokesperson added: “Air traffic restrictions have been our biggest challenge for the first half of 2023. European ATC strikes, en-route ATC staffing issues and air traffic restrictions airspace have caused cancellations and delays.
‘In addition, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine continues to result in restrictions on the use of large volumes of airspace.
“Despite this, and industrial action from both the UK Border Force and train drivers, we have continued to operate at a good level.”
The latest half-yearly figures from Gatwick showed passenger numbers up 41 percent year-on-year to 18.5 million, but remained below pre-pandemic levels at 83 percent of 2019 levels.
He said long-haul demand had taken longer to recover, with China only lifting its travel restrictions in the second quarter, leaving long-haul passenger numbers at just 42 percent of 2019 levels.
But since then the recovery has accelerated, with long-haul passengers reaching 63 percent of 2019 levels in June.
Short-haul passenger numbers saw a much faster recovery, reaching 89 percent of 2019 levels, the airport said.
Gatwick Airport said its costs rose 16.6 per cent to £262.4m in the first half of this year. Personnel costs made up the bulk of the increase, rising 38.3 per cent to £79.1 million.
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