Gatwick Airport's South Terminal reopens after pandemic closure – BBC


Gatwick Airport's South Terminal has reopened after shutting during the coronavirus pandemic nearly two years ago.
The terminal has not been used by passengers since 15 June 2020.
It means the number of flights the airport can handle each day has almost doubled, from 300 to 570.
The news is an economic boost for the area, with the terminal's retailers back in business and airport service industries recruiting more staff.
"We live for coming in and it being busy and alive and something different every single day," Gatwick's senior passenger operations manager, Pete Coombes, said.
"And the last 18 months we've gone from 100,000 passengers to zero almost overnight, and now to see that all coming back, we just can't wait."
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick's CEO, said: "Behind the scenes you can imagine the airport teams, the airline teams and also the ground handlers have all been working really hard to make sure that all of the systems are working, and I'm pleased to say that we've opened the terminal and the flights are leaving on time."
The task of bringing the mothballed retail units back into use has been described as "huge".
Nick Williams, head of retail operations, said: "It's effectively been like opening a new shopping centre from scratch."
For CAE, a Crawley-based company providing pilot training in its 18 simulators, Gatwick becoming a two-terminal airport once again means a steady climb out of the nose dive caused by the pandemic.
"It's a huge relief because we went down as low as 20 to 40% utilisation of our equipment, and we're now ramping up to 85, 90%, so it's vital for us," centre manager Yannick Kerriou said.
The firm is now recruiting more trainers to meet demand.
Several airlines, including British Airways, Ryanair and Aer Lingus, have switched their operations from the North Terminal back to the South Terminal.
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