Passenger figures have revealed Gatwick Airport last month achieved its best year-on-year growth since November 2011.
The airport saw a 15.4% increase year-on-year as more than 3.1 million passengers flew through it in April.
The total of 421,900 passengers, including the Easter break travellers, represented growth across all of Gatwick's airline business models, which include low-cost, charter and full-service carriers.
There was also strong continued growth for scheduled European traffic, with new services to key business cities including Paris, Brussels, Strasbourg and Tel Aviv, driving an increase of 20.8%, or 348,600 passengers, on the previous year.
Complemented by routes to high growth markets performing well, including Russia and Turkey, Gatwick now serves 45 of the top 50 European business destinations.
It has also seen significant increases in flight frequencies to Amsterdam, Rome and the Scandinavian cities. A Gatwick Airport spokesman said: “Other long-haul growth was up by 5.7%, or 15,300 passengers, thanks to new services to China and Saudi Arabia, as well as the continuing strong performance of Gatwick’s Vietnam routes, all of which boosted passenger numbers to high growth markets in April. “Emirates' new A380 services also helped to further strengthen Gatwick’s routes to Dubai.”
Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer at London Gatwick, said: “The fundamental reason for Gatwick’s significant growth in April is its ability to support a mix of airline models – low-cost, charter and full-service. No other airport in London can do this.”
He said: “From easyJet’s new European business routes to Thomson’s Dreamliner services and British Airways adding new long-haul aircraft here, Gatwick is delivering. “All airlines can grow here and that means passengers ultimately enjoy more choice and affordable fares. “It’s obvious that Gatwick can best meet the demands of the London aviation market and is best-placed for expansion. “Gatwick needs to have a second runway.”