Gatwick airport sees 5% surge in passengers
There was an increase in the number of passengers flying to and from Gatwick last month.
The West Sussex airport handled more than 2.7 million passengers in March 2014 - a 5.1% rise on the March 2013 figure.
In the 12 months ending March 2014, a total of 35.86 million travellers passed through Gatwick - a 4.8% increase on the 12 months ending March 2013.
The March 2014 increase and the rise in the latest 12-month rolling total came about despite a big dip in North Atlantic traffic, which fell 12.7% in March 2014 and was down 21.7% for the 12 months ending March 2014.
This was mainly because US Airways ceased to fly from Gatwick in 2013.
Bosses at Gatwick are hoping that this summer's launch of three new Norwegian Air Shuttle routes to the US (New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale) will help reverse the trend of lower traffic to the region.
In the 12 months to March 2014, long-haul traffic apart from North America rose 13.1%, mainly due to growth on Caribbean and Canary Islands' routes.
Despite a 3.9% dip in European charter traffic, total European routes were 6.1% up although domestic traffic was 1% down.
Last week Gatwick was criticised in a House of Commons Transport Committee report for its handling of the Christmas Eve crisis at the airport when flooding caused a power failure which led to flight cancellations and delays for festive travellers.