In this post we’ll be taking a journey through Gatwick Airport, the United Kingdom’s second-busiest airport. We’ll be exploring everything from its intriguing history to the airlines that soar through its skies.
The Intriguing History of Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport, officially known as London Gatwick (IATA: LGW, ICAO: EGKK), boasts a captivating history that spans nearly a century. Let’s delve into the past and discover how Gatwick Airport has evolved into the bustling hub it is today:
- The Early Days: Gatwick Airport first opened as an aerodrome in the late 1920s, primarily catering to flying clubs and private aircraft.
- Gatwick’s Expansion: In the 1930s, commercial flights began operating from Gatwick, and by 1936, the airport was officially designated as London’s second airport.
- World War II: During the war, Gatwick was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force and used as a base for both fighter and bomber aircraft.
- Post-War Revival: After the war, Gatwick underwent significant redevelopment, reopening as a civilian airport in 1958.
- Continued Growth: Over the years, Gatwick has continued to expand and modernise, attracting a growing number of airlines and passengers.
Airlines Taking Flight from Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is home to a wide array of airlines, providing routes to and from destinations across the globe. Here are some of the major airlines that operate at Gatwick:
- British Airways: The UK’s flagship carrier, British Airways operates flights to a range of European and long-haul destinations from Gatwick.
- easyJet: As one of Europe’s largest low-cost airlines, easyJet has a significant presence at Gatwick, offering numerous short-haul flights across the continent.
- Norwegian Air Shuttle: This low-cost carrier operates a variety of short-haul and long-haul flights from Gatwick, including routes to the United States and the Caribbean.
- Virgin Atlantic: While Heathrow is Virgin Atlantic’s primary hub, the airline also operates selected long-haul flights from Gatwick.
- TUI Airways: As the UK’s largest charter airline, TUI Airways offers a variety of holiday flights from Gatwick to destinations around the world.
Of course, these are just a few examples – many other airlines from around the world operate at Gatwick Airport.
What Sets Gatwick Airport Apart?
Gatwick Airport distinguishes itself from other airports in several notable ways, making it a fascinating destination for aviation enthusiasts and travellers alike. Here are a few unique aspects of Gatwick:
- The World’s Most Efficient Single-Runway Airport: Despite having two runways, Gatwick operates primarily as a single-runway airport due to its runway configuration. It holds the title of the world’s most efficient single-runway airport, handling over 50 aircraft movements per hour.
- The First Circular Terminal: Gatwick’s South Terminal, opened in 1958, was the world’s first circular airport terminal, designed to provide easy access to all airport facilities.
- The World’s Largest Airport Art Gallery: Gatwick Airport is home to the world’s largest airport art gallery, showcasing a diverse range of artwork from both established and emerging artists.
Unwind in Comfort: Lounges at Gatwick Airport
Whether you’re seeking a serene space to relax, catch up on work, or savour a tasty meal, Gatwick has an array of lounges to cater to every traveller’s needs. Here’s a brief overview of the lounges available at each terminal:
- North Terminal:
- No1 Lounge: Accessible to all passengers for a fee, this lounge offers a fully stocked bar, a bistro-style menu, and panoramic runway views.
- Club Aspire Lounge: Open to all passengers for a fee, this lounge provides a relaxed atmosphere, complimentary food and beverages, and a range of seating options.
- My Lounge: A more casual option, My Lounge is available to all passengers for a fee and features a self-service buffet, a gaming area, and comfortable seating.
- South Terminal:
- Club Aspire Lounge: Similar to its North Terminal counterpart, this lounge is open to all passengers for a fee and offers a tranquil environment, complimentary food and drinks, and a variety of seating options.
- Clubrooms: For a more luxurious experience, Clubrooms is available to all passengers for a fee and provides à la carte dining, a fully tended bar, and private, tranquil spaces.
Gatwick’s Terminals and Hotels
Gatwick Airport has two terminals – the North Terminal and the South Terminal – each offering an array of services and facilities. Here’s a quick rundown of the terminals and the hotels you’ll find nearby:
- North Terminal: Serves a variety of airlines, including easyJet, Virgin Atlantic, and TUI Airways. Nearby hotels include Sofitel London Gatwick, Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport North Terminal, and Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport.
- South Terminal: Primarily serves British Airways, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and a host of other airlines. Convenient hotels include Bloc Hotel Gatwick, Hilton London Gatwick Airport, and Courtyard by Marriott London Gatwick Airport.
Gatwick Airport Transport Links
Gatwick Airport (LGW) is the second largest airport in the United Kingdom, and a major international airport serving the South East of England. Located approximately 29 miles south of London city centre, LGW Airport is easily accessible by various means of transportation, including the Gatwick Express, which connects passengers to Victoria Station in central London.
The airport comprises two main terminals, the North Terminal and the South Terminal, both of which cater to an impressive range of airlines flying to various destinations around the world. LGW Airport serves as a hub for many charter flights, as well as scheduled commercial services. In recent years, Gatwick Airport has focused on expanding its passenger traffic, with the North and South terminals undergoing significant development projects to enhance overall service and capacity.
London Gatwick Airport (LGW) has a number of short stay car parks available at both the North and South terminals, offering convenient options for those dropping off or picking up passengers. For travelers in need of longer-term parking, there are also several options for long stay car parking, as well as valet parking services. These facilities make it easy for passengers to access the airport and ensure their vehicle is secure during their time away.
In addition to car parking facilities, Gatwick Airport (LGW) offers a wide range of car rental services, allowing passengers to easily rent a vehicle upon arrival at either the North or South terminal. With several major car rental companies operating on-site, passengers can choose from a wide selection of vehicles to suit their needs, making it easy to travel around South East England and beyond.
The Gatwick Express train service is a popular choice for passengers traveling between London city centre and LGW Airport. This non-stop service connects Victoria Station in central London to Gatwick Airport in just 30 minutes, offering a fast and convenient means of transportation. In addition to the Gatwick Express, there are also other train services that connect the airport with various London stations, making it easy for passengers to reach their final destination.
As a major international airport, LGW is constantly looking for ways to serve traffic more efficiently and enhance the overall passenger experience. The airport is well-equipped to handle a high volume of passenger traffic, with the North and South terminals offering an array of services to cater to the diverse needs of travelers. These include shopping and dining facilities, as well as business lounges and various other amenities.
It’s an important hub for both commercial and charter flights, serving as a gateway to South East England and beyond. With a wide range of airlines flying to and from the airport, as well as excellent transportation links to London city centre, LGW remains a popular choice for both business and leisure travelers alike. The ongoing investment in infrastructure, such as car parking, car rental services, and terminal enhancements, ensures that Gatwick Airport continues to provide a world-class service to its passengers.
What To See And Where To Eat In the Gatwick Airport Area
While the Gatwick Airport area may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning your visit to London, there are plenty of attractions and activities to discover nearby. One of the key tourist highlights is the Gatwick Aviation Museum, where you can explore the history of British aviation and marvel at the impressive collection of aircraft on display.
For a more relaxing experience, visit the beautiful Worth Park, which boasts a picturesque lake, formal gardens, and plenty of walking paths to enjoy.
The area surrounding Gatwick Airport also offers a diverse dining scene that caters to a variety of tastes. If you’re looking for a traditional British pub experience, the Six Bells in Horley is not to be missed, serving classic pub fare and local ales in a charming 16th-century setting.
For those with a more international palate, Da Peppino Italian Restaurant provides an authentic dining experience with a menu of mouth-watering pasta, pizza, and seafood dishes. Additionally, the area is home to some great Indian and Thai restaurants, such as the Curry Bengal and Giggling Squid, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
Nightlife around Gatwick Airport is lively and varied, with numerous options for visitors to unwind after a day of sightseeing. The Air Balloon pub, located in Horley, is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike, offering live music, quiz nights, and a cozy atmosphere.
For a more contemporary vibe, head to The Loft Bar & Lounge, where you can enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and an extensive wine list in a stylish setting. Lastly, if you’re in the mood for dancing, Moka Nightclub in Crawley offers themed nights and a vibrant atmosphere to keep you entertained well into the night
Discovering More Information about Gatwick Airport
If you’d like more information about Gatwick Airport, visit their official website at www.gatwickairport.com. Here, you’ll find details on flights, services, and facilities, as well as airport maps and transportation options.
Share Your Gatwick Experience
We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the fascinating world of Gatwick Airport! If you found this post engaging, don’t forget to share it with your fellow aviation enthusiasts and travellers. By spreading the word, you’ll help others uncover the wonders of this exceptional airport, from its history to its unique features and lounges.
So, the next time you find yourself at Gatwick Airport, take a moment to appreciate its rich history, the diverse range of airlines that call it home, and the outstanding services and amenities it offers to passengers. And remember to share your own Gatwick experiences in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!
Safe travels and happy flying!