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20 October 2017, 08:38 | Updated: 20 October 2017, 09:36
Over 1.3 million people are going to be travelling through Gatwick Airport over the next seven days as thousands of school children across Sussex and Surrey are breaking up for October Half term.
Gatwick’s long-haul traffic is set to rise by 21.7% this half-term, compared with the same period in 2016. One in five October half-term passengers will travel on long-haul routes.
Destinations in the Caribbean and Florida will see the biggest boosts in popularity, with St. Lucia and Fort Lauderdale the two largest-growing long-haul routes, up 197% and 181% year-on-year. Kingston, Jamaica (+68%) and Punta Cana (+48%) also feature in Gatwick’s top ten biggest-growing long-haul routes for the half-term break.
US and Canadian city breaks are on the rise too, with Oakland, San Francisco up 163% and Vancouver up 101% on 2016. Established holiday favourites New York and Los Angeles also continue to be popular half-term choices, +56% and +54% respectively.
Gatwick’s substantial long-haul growth during the half-term break comes just weeks after Norwegian launched the world’s longest low-cost route to Singapore from the airport, bringing Gatwick’s long-haul network to more than 60 routes.
For those passengers opting to stay a little closer to home for half-term, the Greek islands will see a big surge in popularity. Mikonos and Zakynthos both feature in Gatwick’s top ten biggest-growing short-haul routes for the week – with increases of 131% and 121% respectively – alongside Kos (+115%) and Kefallinia (+78%).
Gatwick’s Head of Airline Relations Stephen King said:
“The significant rise in long-haul traffic at Gatwick means we are set to experience the busiest October half-term in our history. Gatwick now offers more than 60 long-haul routes and, with the growing number of low-cost long-haul destinations that we serve, our passengers are finding it easier than ever to travel further afield – with their budgets also going further.
“Britain’s global connectivity has never been more important and that’s why Gatwick, already the world’s busiest single-runway airport, continues to add vital new connections to the world. In the next few months alone, new long-haul connections to Austin, Chicago, Taipei and Buenos Aires will begin as we look forward to providing passengers with even greater choice in long-haul destinations.”