After nearly two years of closure, Gatwick has announced it will reopen its south terminal on 27 March 2022.

 

Gatwick prepares for holiday rush

Gatwick closed the larger of its two passenger terminals back in June 2020, to save money whilst a raging pandemic reduced demand for travel. News of its reopening comes just as the government has announced the axing of mandatory COVID testing for vaccinated UK arrivals. This comes just in time for the half-term holidays of UK Schools, during which Gatwick have said they are expecting to see more and more passengers taking advantage of the new rules.

Departures sign gatwick airport
Gatwick is expecting to see an increase in passengers for the UK half-term holidays | © Reuters

Gatwick’s CEO Stewart Wingate said:

After an incredibly challenging two years for the airport, our partners, local communities and the entire aviation industry, we are delighted to be reopening our south terminal next month.

Following some major announcements from our airlines about significantly increased flying schedules, and from Government on removing travel restrictions and airport slot regulations, we can now look forward to once again operating a busy Gatwick this summer and beyond

 

A UK trend?

Whilst Gatwick s preparing for a busy summer season, Heathrow has talked of a slow start to the year. The airport commented that demand for flights in January was “weaker than expected”, more than 56% down on pre-pandemic levels. Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

 ‘After a tough Christmas, Omicron has continued to bite and this has been a weak start to the year. As short-lived as the additional travel restrictions were, they ruined the travel plans of more than 1.3 million passengers in the last two months. Today’s removal of restrictions for vaccinated passengers in and out of the UK offers a ray of hope, but the Omicron hangover proves demand remains fragile, and at risk to new variants of concern.’

Heathrow terminal busy passengers
Heathrow was Europe’s busiest Airport pre-pandemic but has seen a significant decline in demand | © ComputerWorld

2.6million passengers passed through Heathrow last month, almost a four times as many as January last year when leisure travel to and from the UK was prohibited. With restrictions continuing to ease in the UK, and summer fast approaching, airports will be keen to maximise their capacity, so perhaps we may soon see Heathrow reopening some of it’s terminals too.

 

What are your thoughts on Gatwick reopening it’s south terminal? Do you think Heathrow will follow suit? Let us know your insights the comments below!

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