Gatwick Airport is finally welcoming passengers back to its South Terminal after it had closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, the Sussex-based airport announced that the terminal will be reopening in late March.

A welcome return

The South Terminal has not been used by passengers since 15 June 2020, and now that it is up and running again the number of flights the airport can handle each day has almost doubled from 300 to 570. 

The terminal’s shops, cafes, and other facilities have also undergone months of refurbishment in anticipation of the reopening.

The terminal reopening has a great positive effect on the traffic the airport receives as it is the equivalent of opening an additional medium-sized airport overnight. This is key for the Sussex airport, as it’ll help significantly with satisfying high demand during the summer season. The move will also help the airport in its journey of recovery post-pandemic. 

It will also be a great economic boost for the area of Sussex, as the retailers in the South Terminal will be back in business. 

Gatwick Airport's South Terminal interior
The first flights due to take off from the reopened terminal are due to land in Italy and Norway. | © Simon Calder

Gatwick’s senior passenger operations manager, Pete Coombes, spoke of the enthusiasm surrounding the re-opening of the airport’s South Terminal:

“We live for coming in and it being busy and alive and something different every single day.”

Coombes continued, commenting how they “just can’t wait” to see the passengers filling in over the summer. 

Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said that 80,000 passengers will travel through the airport this Sunday, foreseeing that passengers will reach “well over 150,000 per day” by July. 

Wingate continued to comment on the progress Gatwick could make over the summer season, planning to “ramp up very, very quickly over the next two or three weeks”, and foreseeing that the airport will be operating at volume levels “very close” to that of 2019. 

British Airways and Wizz Air are only a couple of the airlines switching their operations from the North Terminal to the South in response to the reopening. 

Gatwick has advised passengers to check which terminal their flight is departing from to account for any changes and prevent confusion.

What do you think about the South Terminal opening? Perhaps you’re flying from Gatwick? Let us know!

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