Gatwick Airport has recorded 7.7 per cent increase in passenger traffic to 44.1 million over the past 12 months, with revenue at the airport was also up 7.7 per cent, to £725 million.
This, combined with carefully controlled cost management, resulted in EBITDA rising 12.9 per cent to £373.6 million and a profit before tax of £132 million.
Long-haul continues to be a success story with routes growing 13.6 per cent and now represent one in five of Gatwick’s passengers.
As capacity issues become a challenge, Gatwick will continue to see considerable growth in passenger numbers as airlines swap short haul for long haul services.
Reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS) showed that in the first quarter of 2017, the performance of the different parts of the Nigerian Aviation sector varied. Both passenger numbers and aircraft movement declined, relative to both the previous quarter and the first quarter of 2016.
Experts have said this development is partly resulted from the Abuja Airport closure and the general economic downturn, which affected the purchasing power of customers. However, some airports recorded larger percentage declines than Abuja, and declines were also recorded in the previous two quarters, suggesting that other factors
The total number of passengers to pass through Nigerian airports was 2,505,612. Of these, 67.3% were domestic passengers, travelling within Nigeria, and the rest were international, entering or leaving Nigeria.
This represents a considerable drop compared to both the previous quarter (of 31.3%) and the same quarter of the previous year (of 34.5%, based on revised 2016 Q1 figures.
Tayo Ojuri, an industry expert and Chief Executive Officer, Aglo Limited, an aviation support service told Financial Quest that air travel industry is often the first to be affected when there is a recession because travellers are propelled based on their purchasing power. Ojuri added that the industry is also often the last to pick up when the economy comes back to life.
Ojuri however assured that the Nigerian air transport industry will continue to be attractive because most travel in Nigeria are business travels. There was a quarterly fall of 18.2%, and a year on year fall of 23.7%. As discussed, the closure of Abuja Airport will have had less of an effect on international passenger numbers than domestic, because in the case of domestic travel, each trip made to or from Abuja has a corresponding effect on another domestic airport. Nevertheless, the decline was also broad-based, with nearly all airports contributing to the decline.
Financial Quest’s checks show that international airlines had to cut down frequencies into Nigeria, while local airlines suspended operations as a result of the economic downturn and the high exchange rate.