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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Jonathan Prynn and Simon Hunt

Half of Gatwick Airport flights during second quarter of this year delayed

Gatwick today said flight departure punctuality was badly hit in the second quarter of the year by a combination of air traffic restrictions, bad weather and the closure of Ukrainian airspace.

Only around half of flights from London’s second airport left on time, dragging the figure for the first half as a whole down to 62.3%, against 64.7% last year.

This was despite the Sussex airport only handling 86% of the pre-Covid level of flights over the six months as long-haul operators only slowly rebuilt their schedules after the pandemic.

Gatwick said it is “working with airlines and ground handlers to ensure aircraft are ready to go for the first wave of departures early in the morning and throughout the rest of the day. The airport also acted to prevent ground handling industrial action this summer, ensuring flights could continue as normal.”

First half revenues rose 45% to £423.3 million, split between fees charged to airlines and “non-aeronautical income” from food and retail sales and car parking. Net profit was up 56% at £79.1 million.

CEO Stewart Wingate said: “We worked closely with our partners to make sure the airport was well resourced ahead of the summer.”

Meanwhile the owner of Southend today said it was in discussions to bring a number of airlines back to the airport after a successful summer with easyJet.

The partnership with easyJet has seen the schedule grow from three destinations to seven with increasing frequency after it experienced strong load factors, Southend owner Esken said.

Esken said its performance over the summer supported its decision to sell the airport.

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