Published on : Wednesday, May 18, 2016
17th May marked 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 today.
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.