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Gatwick reopens its South Terminal

Posted 28 March 2022 · Add Comment

Gatwick reopened its South Terminal yesterday and has gone from an airport with about 300 flights a day (26th March) to one operating around 570 flights (27th March) – making it the equivalent of opening a medium-sized airport overnight.

Above: Gatwick Airport's South Terminal Arrivals Hall.
Courtesy Gatwick Airport / VINCI Airports

Gatwick and its partners – including airlines, shops, cafes and bars - have spent months refurbishing, cleaning, updating and testing facilities and equipment that has not been in use since the terminal closed during the pandemic on 15th June 2020.

Many airlines that had been flying from the airport’s North Terminal for the last 21 months, have or are in the process of switching terminals between 27th March and 29th March, including major airlines such as British Airways, Wizz Air, Vueling, Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Norwegian.

EasyJet, which will fly 120 routes from Gatwick – the most ever from the airport – will operate from both North and South Terminals.  

Gatwick is advising passengers to arrive early as the terminals may be busy, to remind themselves of airport processes – particularly security - and to also check the terminal they are flying from with their airline before they come to the airport, or book services such as parking, to avoid inconvenience.

Passengers are also reminded to check that their passports are still valid - and have enough time left on them for the country being visited – and to check the foreign travel advice for all countries they will visit, or pass through, well in advance of travel.

BA will also operate 35 short haul routes to destinations across Europe, Wizz Air 25 European routes and Vueling a total of 16 routes, all from the reopened South Terminal.

Airlines including BA, TUI, Emirates, Qatar, WestJet, Air Transat, Jet Blue and Norse Atlantic are also flying to over 30 long haul destinations direct from Gatwick this summer, including New York, Tampa, Phuket, Mauritius, Dubai, Doha and Bangkok – alongside a range of routes to Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, including Toronto, Vancouver, Cancun, Antigua and Montego Bay.

Gatwick is part of VINCI Airports’ diversified network of 53 airports in 12 countries and is actively perusing even more new connections to increase travel and tourism choices for passengers, as well as support for business and the economy.

The significant increase in the choice of destinations flown direct from the airport – combined with positive booking data to date - indicates that Gatwick is expecting a strong summer season this year.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport, said: “A lot of work has gone into preparing our South Terminal, and I would like to thank everybody involved as their combined efforts mean that today we are effectively opening a medium-sized airport overnight, which is no small task.  

“We’re now ready and excited to welcome passengers back in large numbers, and our restaurants, shops, cafes and bars are also looking forward to serving passengers again before they jet off on holiday, to visit friends and family or take that vital business trip.

“After a difficult two years, we know there is significant pent-up demand for international travel, so I advise passengers to book early to make sure they secure the flights they want this summer.

“Reopening our South Terminal and the increase in the choice of flights our airlines are offering is also great news for our local communities, particularly people and their families who rely on the airport for their livelihood, and also the large number of support and supply businesses that depend on a successful airport.”

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “This is an important moment, not only for Gatwick but for the whole aviation sector. The last two years have been incredibly difficult, and I will never forget that dark day when the South Terminal had to close, which was a huge hit for the industry and the local community here.

“But we are past that difficult period now we have lifted all remaining Covid travel restrictions. As the sector recovers from the pandemic, I look forward to seeing large numbers of passengers return to Gatwick to travel, whether for business, leisure or family – and to seeing our magnificent aviation industry return even stronger than it was before.”

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