Gatwick Airport has announced it will reopen its South Terminal next month - after nearly two years being dormant to help meet the expected strong demand this summer and beyond as confidence in international travel returns.
Gatwick Airport's South Terminal.
Courtesy Gatwick / VINCI Airports
The news comes on the day that testing requirements for those arriving into the UK have been eased significantly, with fully vaccinated passengers (two doses) and those under the age of 18 no longer needing to take pre-departure and post-arrival tests.
Flights have been operating solely from the airport’s North Terminal since 15th June 2020 to save on costs but activity will return to the South Terminal from Sunday 27th March, as Gatwick enters what it expects to be a busy summer season.
British Airways has already announced it will restart its short-haul services from Gatwick from 29 March, with 35 new European routes added. BA’s low-cost sister airline, Vueling, will also be expanding its operations, adding five new short-haul routes and basing three aircraft at Gatwick.
Wizz Air will also significantly increase its operations from the airport with 18 new routes, while easyJet, Gatwick’s biggest airline, has also taken up more slots and plan to fly their busiest flying schedule ever from the airport.
Tickets for over 30 exciting long-haul routes from Gatwick are also on sale, including New York, Tampa, Bangkok, Phuket, Mauritius, Dubai, Doha, Islamabad – and range of cities across Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Cancun, Antigua and Montego Bay.
The increased demand is also positive news for the local job market – with Gatwick’s local communities among some of the country’s worst affected by the impacts of the pandemic. Gatwick and its partners – airlines, retailers, ground handlers etc – have been recruiting for some time, with more than 2,000 jobs still available for positions such as security officers, IT specialists, engineers, shop and restaurant workers, ground and cargo handlers and cabin crew.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said: “After an incredibly challenging two years for the airport, our partners, local communities and the entire aviation industry, we are delighted to be reopening our South Terminal next month.
“Following some major announcements from our airlines about significantly increased flying schedules, and from Government on removing travel restrictions and airport slot regulations, we can now look forward to once again operating a busy Gatwick this summer and beyond.
"Today’s news means Gatwick and our partners can also begin recruiting new staff to help us meet this demand, which is excellent news for local people who have been so badly impacted by the effects of the pandemic.
“With our airlines now operating hugely increased flying programmes, our passengers can once again choose from a fantastic range of destinations – both short and long haul – whether booking a holiday, family visit, business trip – or that bucket list adventure they have dreamed of for years.
“It may however take time for consumer confidence to fully recover, so I urge Government to make 2022 the year when all travel restrictions are removed, including the unpopular passenger locator form and other remaining barriers to free travel.”
From 27th March, a number of Gatwick’s airlines will begin returning to the South Terminal. Passengers who have booked flights are therefore strongly advised to check which terminal their flight will depart from – and also the travel requirements at their destination - in advance of travel.
Airlines who will be operating from the South Terminal include: British Airways, Vueling, Wizz, Ryanair, Norwegian, Turkish Airlines, TAP, Eastern Airways, Aurigny, Aer Lingus, Air Baltic, Airmaltia, Air Europa and Enter Air, while easyJet will operate across both South and North Terminals.