JetBlue will make its highly anticipated entrance into the transatlantic market with nonstop service between New Yorks John F. Kennedy international Airport (JFK) and London Gatwick Airport, starting 29th September 2021.
Image courtesy Gatwick
Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer, Gatwick Airport said: “Being able to offer our customers the low cost, high value experience from JetBlue, with daily flights to New York starting in just a few months, is a welcome addition to the choice of airlines and destinations which Gatwick currently has. Equally we look forward to welcoming travellers from the US who are looking for easy, quick access to London, the South of England and beyond. We believe this is a start of an important long-term partnership for us and we look forward adding JetBlue flights to and from Boston next year.”
Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and flies a range of both short and long-haul point-to-point services. The airport is a vital piece of the UK’s national infrastructure and is also a major driver for both the regional and national economies.
In 2019, a new long-term partnership was formed with VINCI Airports who purchased a 50.01% stake in the airport. This partnership saw Gatwick Airport integrate into the network of private airport operator VINCI Airports, which manages the development and operation of 45 airports located in Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Served by more than 250 airlines, VINCI Airports' network handled 255 million passengers in 2019. Through its expertise as a comprehensive integrator, VINCI Airports develops, finances, builds and operates airports, leveraging its investment capability and know-how to optimise the management and performance of airports and carry out extensions and upgrades. In 2019, its annual revenue for managed activities amounted to €4.9 billion, for a consolidated revenue of €2.6 billion.
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which manages the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick, is an independent infrastructure investor that makes equity investments in high quality infrastructure assets in the energy, transport and water/waste sectors. GIP has US$68 billion of Assets under Management. Its 41 portfolio companies operate in over 51 countries with more than 67,000 employees and generate annual revenues of circa US$51 billion.
According to a new report published last week - Gatwick’s Economic Value - Gatwick Airport’s revival could generate over 50,000 new jobs and £8.4 billion GVA by 2028 - enough to fund 222,000 primary school places or 70,000 nurses across the region
Diversifying the region’s economy and making it more resilient has become an important objective for several local economic partners following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new report by economics consultants, Lichfields, says that a revived Gatwick would support the region’s economic diversification by making the area attractive to new and emerging industrial clusters, including digital, advanced manufacturing and green technologies.
In response, Gatwick has committed to continue to work with its local partners and help the region attract new economic clusters and - given the scale of the challenges facing the area following the pandemic - the airport also committed to develop a range of employment, skills, sustainable growth and supply chain initiatives.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, Gatwick Airport, said: “By working together, we can harness the extraordinary benefits the airport delivers to help the region rebuild, diversify and become more resilient following the devastating impact the pandemic has had on jobs, businesses and communities across the local area.
“As an airport, we plan to maximise the benefits we provide for local people, communities and businesses through a range of initiatives that focus on skills, employment, sustainability and our extensive supply chains, which support many thousands of jobs across the South East.
“We will also continue to work closely with our partners on their ambitious plans to diversify the region’s economy. Many established businesses tell us the airport was an important factor in their decision to locate in this region. We want to build on that by making sure the area is once again an attractive, innovative and well-connected place to invest and locate a business.”
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said: “Gatwick Airport is vital to the regional economy. It is one of the best-connected places in the UK with huge potential to drive economic growth. Gatwick’s Economic Value report creates a vision to attract public and private investment and deliver the infrastructure that the region needs. To do this, we must leverage development of the airport by making a full contribution to economic recovery. We look forward to playing a full part in delivering this plan, the scale of the challenge requires the participation of all communities and economic sectors to allow all parts of our region to meet their economic potential.”
Ana Christie, CEO, Sussex Chamber of Commerce, said: “These reports provide valuable evidence on just how important the airport is for the region’s economy, not just in terms of the jobs and economic contribution but also the central role it can play attracting new business clusters to Sussex. I’m looking forward to working closely with the airport to turn the predictions in these reports into reality so that together we can make the most of the economic opportunities we have on our doorstep.”
Jeff Alexander, Chief Executive, Gatwick Diamond Business and the Gatwick Diamond Initiative said: “Gatwick Airport has for decades driven the growth and competitiveness of the Gatwick Diamond economy. Some of the benefits of having a major international airport on our doorstep are obvious – the convenience of a well-located and superbly connected domestic and international travel hub and the direct jobs supported are obvious examples. What this report demonstrates is that, even in very difficult times, the ripple effect with benefits spreading across the regional and national economies is immense, impacting way beyond the aviation sector itself. So, as representatives of businesses in the Gatwick Diamond, we welcome this timely report. It does not duck the challenges, but points to a positive future backed by Gatwick’s continuing commitment to invest in its operations and infrastructure. Our businesses and our people need a successful Gatwick as the catalyst for our economic recovery and to attract the investment needed to ensure our longer-term economic and social wellbeing.”
A further new report – The Economic Impact of Gatwick Airport - also published last week, by economists Oxera, outlines how the return of air traffic to levels forecast before the pandemic would support over 50,000 new on-airport, supply chain and other business-related jobs across West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent by 2028. These new jobs would be in addition to the 69,000 jobs the airport was shown to provide on-airport, in its supply chain and other business-related jobs during the pandemic in 2020.
The research also demonstrates that the airport could generate up to £8.4 billion for the region’s economy by 2028 – compared to £4.1 billion GVA in 2020. Put another way, the airport would support economic activity that could generate enough tax receipts to provide over 220,000 primary school places or over 70,000 nurses across West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent by 2028 – more than twice as many as in 2020.