London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick International Airport LGW/EGKK is the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow. As a hub of various low cost and charter airlines, the airport has a unique distinction of serving a variety of carriers operating point-to-point flights to major international destinations. Also, the main runway serves almost 52 aircrafts every hour making it the busiest single-use runway in the world.
Full-service airlines including British Airways, Air Lingus, and Virgin Atlantic use Gatwick as their major operational hub. Similarly, low-cost airlines such as Easy Jet and Flybe have a large presence. Charter Airlines also use Gatwick as a base for international holiday destinations in Europe. Well, known leisure operators are Thomas Cook Airlines, Monarch Airlines, and Thompson Airways.
As of 2010, more than 3.1 million passengers used this airport accounting for almost 240,500 aircraft movements. Unlike other major airports in Europe, Gatwick is traditionally known to serve tourists going to various holiday resorts. Accordingly, four out of five busiest routes to and from Gatwick include Malaga, Orlando, Alicante, and Faro. Moreover, such famed destinations as Venice, Rome, Dubai, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tenerife, and Mallorca are also served by daily scheduled flights. More than 70 airlines provide direct flights to other international destinations, as well. Easy Jet has more than 26% share of total flights followed by British Airways, Thompson Airlines, Monarch Airlines, and Thomas Cook Airlines.
There are two terminals at Gatwick, North, and South. Both terminals offer world-class facilities including disabled access, on-site hotels, leisure facilities, restaurants, and prayer rooms. In 2008, Virgin Holidays opened its private V-Room for leisure travelers. Customers flying to Orlando or Las Vegas can utilize this room. There is also a new pay-for-access room, No. 1 Traveler.
The objective of the airport authorities is to make sure that at least 40% of passengers use public transport. The goal is set for 2015 therefore major overhauls are underway to provide additional transportation facilities. Railway networks include Brighton Main Line connecting the South Terminal to London city center. The Gatwick Express from London Victoria station is also the preferred connection route for passengers. Other rail companies include First Capital Connect and First Great Western.
Likewise, National Express Coaches, Oxford Bus Company, and Easy Bus are some of the well-known coach companies providing several daily airport shuttles to Gatwick. The airport is easily accessible by the main M23 motorway. Plenty of road signs on M23 guide drivers to airport terminals. Once at the airport, the automatic inter-terminal transit allows passengers to transfer between North and South terminals.