London Gatwick Airport (LGW) has announced plans to reopen its South Terminal after nearly two years of inactivity due to increased passenger demand.
After the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed air traffic, VINCI Airports, the UK’s second busiest airport, shuttered the South Terminal on June 15, 2020, to save money.
It will now reopen on March 27, 2022, as part of the North Terminal’s activities.
The reopening comes after a number of major airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet, and Wizz, announced plans to resume or extend service from LGW.
After the Omicron wave of COVID-19 was not as severe as previously feared, some European airlines have expressed optimism for a busy summer.
The announcement comes as Britain’s school half-term vacations begin. The government has also eliminated the need for vaccinated tourists to take pre-departure and post-arrival testing, which has helped to increase travel demand.
“We can now look forward to once again operating a busy Gatwick this summer and beyond, following some major announcements from our airlines about significantly increased flying schedules, and from Government on removing travel restrictions and airport slot regulations,” Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said in a press release on February 11, 2022.
British Airways, Vueling, Wizz, Ryanair, Norwegian, Turkish Airlines, TAP, Eastern Airways, Aurigny, Aer Lingus, Air Baltic, Air Malta, Air Europa, and Enter Air are among the airlines that fly out of LGW’s South Terminal. Both terminals will be served by EasyJet.
On February 7, 2022, rival London airport Stansted (STN) announced that it was expecting its busiest weekend of 2022 so far, with 90,000 passengers expected to depart between February 11 and 13, 2022. In 2021, only 2,000 passengers left on the same weekend.
As operations build-up, Gatwick and the companies that operate at the airport are conducting a recruitment drive for personnel. Security officers, IT specialists, engineers, store and restaurant staff, ground and freight handlers, and cabin crew were among the approximately 2000 positions available, according to the business.
Stansted is also ramping up recruitment ahead of a busy summer, hosting a job fair on February 9, 2022.