Gatwick celebrates 80th anniversary of first flight and serves 41 million passengers annually for the first time ever

  • • 17th May marks the 80th anniversary of the very first flight from Gatwick Airport, to Paris
  • • Since then Gatwick has grown to become the World’s most efficient single-runway airport and this week has served 41 million passengers for the first time ever
  • • Throughout its history Gatwick has played host to many prominent figures including Queen Elizabeth II and John F Kennedy

17th May marks the 80th anniversary of the very first commercial flight from Gatwick, to Paris. Since then the airport has grown to become the world’s most efficient single runway airport, with a flight taking off or landing nearly every minute, and this week has served 41 million passengers for the first time ever.

 

Gatwick’s first flight was to Paris with the single fare costing 4 pounds 5 shillings (the equivalent today is approximately £160), including the first class train fare from London Victoria. Paris was one of just five scheduled routes served from the airport in its first year of operation, the others being Malmö, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Copenhagen. The number of routes at Gatwick has grown considerably since then with the airport flying to more than 200 destinations in 90 countries.

 

Over the course of the last 80 years, Gatwick has played host to many prominent figures including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and John F Kennedy plus key aviation milestones including the first ever Virgin Atlantic flight taking off from the airport on 22 June 1984.

Gatwick Airport press office
t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000
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About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 40 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.For further information on Gatwick Airport see www.gatwickairport.com