The travel industry has been recovering from the economic downturn for some time now. As a result, a lot of companies are looking to expand. This not only includes airlines but a number of airports as well. Take the Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London. Recently, both of these airports reported a record-setting number of passengers in the month of July. These huge numbers come at a very important time for both Gatwick and Heathrow. In fact, both airports are in the middle of competing for approval to build the next UK runway.
Officials from Heathrow said that July was, by far, the busiest and most lucrative month for Heathrow ever. Total, the airport had 6.97 million people pass through its doors. This number is up nearly 0.5 percent compared to the same time in 2013.
Gatwick officials reported setting a number record for themselves as well, with nearly 4.1 million travellers. This figure isn’t as high as Heathrow, but Gatwick is a smaller airport. Not only that; Gatwick saw the biggest increase in travellers. It said that its numbers were nearly 6 percent higher than a year ago, so it would be able to benefit a lot from a new runway.
Reports from Heathrow said that there were at least 240,000 people who made their way through Heathrow Airport on July 27. This marks the busiest day that the airline has ever had in its history. Of course, with Gatwick also having a great month in July, officials have a hard choice to make on which airport should be able to build a new runway. Both airports are celebrating victories while they try to foil each other’s expansion plans.
Travellers in London are no stranger to the battle that has been going on between Heathrow and Gatwick. In fact, both airports have been locked in a very bitter campaign against each other as of late. These campaigns are designed to help sway the government in their favour. To do that, the airports need to sway the public. A new runway for either airport would mean more destinations to travel to for the public.
The CEO of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, said that it is doubling routes to Beijing via Air China. The airport is aware that other airports in the UK are trying to increase their capacities as well. These airports cannot deliver daily like Heathrow can. With a new runway, Heathrow will be able to offer emerging economies direct flights to Britain. In turn, this will help Britain win the worldwide race for growth. This is something that only Heathrow Airport can offer; Gatwick cannot.
The CFO for Gatwick Airport, Nick Dunn, said that building a third runway at Heathrow is going to do nothing but diminish the public’s right to choose. More passengers will be forced to use Heathrow. Not because they choose to; because they have to. If the government diminishes choice, the cost of holidays will rise, and travel will become too expensive.