Gibraltar International Airport is set for a record year, with double digit growth in passenger numbers each month from April. A busy summer schedule has seen highs of 27.5 percent monthly growth with existing carriers upping capacity to the Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula.
To date Monarch Airlines, easyJet, British Airways and Royal Air Maroc offer services from both the United Kingdom and Africa. The airport’s summer schedule saw a 40.8 percent increase in weekly seats from these operators, and a 35.1 percent increase in flights.
Individually, Monarch’s capacity increase at Gibraltar was the most significant with an additional 35.2 percent this year, yet easyJet not far behind with 32.8 percent. All carriers added significant capacity with an increase of 29.9 percent for Royal Air Maroc and 21.6 percent increase for British Airways.
The record breaking summer for the airport consisted of both new routes and increased existing services, taking the number of flights operating per week to 50. Low-cost outfit easyJet began service from Manchester with a twice weekly offering, rivalling the current scheduled service from the airport’s biggest operator Monarch. The latter also added a four times weekly service to Gibraltar from London’s Gatwick Airport, contributing to the additional six weekly flights from Gatwick.
Earlier this year, the airport carried out a project to resurface their 1.8km single asphalt runway.
With 444,336 passengers handled for the 2015 calendar year, Gibraltar International Airport has already surpassed this figure with another two months to go. October’s 53,671 passengers – a 22.6 percent monthly growth in figures – took the airport over last year’s mark to 468,874 passengers. This highlights a 23.6 percent increase in month to date growth.
Gilbert Licudi, QC MP, minister for Commercial Aviation and Tourism spoke of the growth, stating: “This is fantastic news for Gibraltar and reaffirms this government’s commitment to developing air services and increasing connectivity to the Rock. This is great for business and tourism. The airport continues to break records and we look forward to closing 2016 with a fantastic results and continued growth. “
Tourism is a huge driver for growth in Gibraltar. In 2015, although visitor numbers dropped to 10.17 million from 10.25 million in 2014, tourists spent almost £200 million. This figure is up by nearly a fifth compared to the year before.