A quick look at the flight radar for the world’s busiest single-runway airport would suggest that there is absolutely no traffic in or out of Gatwick airport.

With news today that British Airways have followed Easyjet in grounding all of their Gatwick flights, very few viable operators remain at London’s second busiest airport. 

British Airways and EasyJet are by far the largest operators from Gatwick airport and with Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic also grounding flights from the airport, it would seem that there are literally no more flights that can viably leave the airfield.

This is the case to an extent however, as of now, the airport will remain open to charter operators and as of today there were still a handful of Ryanair arrivals.

Wizz Air still have a scheduled arrival this evening from Bucharest and Ryanair from Dublin, but it is not clear how long flights will continue to be operated.

Repatriation flights for citizens have meant that there has been specially chartered operations around the world for the last two weeks. With news that the U.K. government is to spend up to £75 million on repatriating British citizens we can expect to still see Gatwick used over the coming weeks for several chartered arrivals.

Charter operators such as Wamos have been seen flying their aircraft around the world on unusual routes for repatriation flights. Qatar Airways and Gulf Air are two on the only remaining foreign carriers operating into the airport.

Gatwick Airport is due to close its North Terminal from tomorrow and consolidate operations from 2-10pm each day from the South terminal. The airport normally sees 46 million passengers pass through its terminal doors each year.

Elsewhere in the U.K., London City airport has closed entirely until the end of April and British Airways has consolidated the few flights it continues to operate from London Heathrow to Terminal 5.

With the aviation industry being one of the hardest-hit sectors from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus it is widely expected that governments around the world will support airlines. EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic have asked the U.K. government for substantial financial support similar to what other airlines around the world are receiving.

Singapore Airlines has received $15 billion in government support, by far the largest single bailout package for an individual airline.

The U.A.E government today affirmed its support for Emirates, which is the largest airline in the world by passenger KM flown. The Australian government has already pledged $1bn and in the U.S. the A4A has requested $50bn for commercial airlines.

It is not yet clear what support airports will receive but the knock-on effects will continue to be felt in the travel industry globally until there is confidence instilled that would-be passengers can book future trips again without disruption, and a relative return to normality is on the horizon.



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