Gatwick to reopen north terminal and extend operating hours
Gatwick Airport will reopen its north terminal and extend its operating hours from Monday.
The West Sussex airport announced the measures as airlines scale up their flying programmes.
EasyJet, Wizz Air and Ryanair are among the carriers whose passengers will use the north terminal from Monday.
The coronavirus pandemic caused a collapse in demand for air travel, with airlines grounding the majority of their aircraft.
Since April 1, Gatwick has only opened its south terminal.
Flights have been scheduled between 2pm and 10pm, but this will be extended to between 6am and 10pm.
The airport said it has introduced a series of protective measures as it prepares to accommodate more flights.
These include hand sanitiser stations, protective screens, regular deep cleaning and social distancing instructions throughout its site.
Passengers will be required to wear face coverings within the airport from Monday.
Face mask vending machines will be installed, selling four masks for £3 with profits going to a local charity.
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Having remained open throughout this pandemic, the wellbeing and safety of our passengers and everyone that works at the airport remains our top priority.
“We have introduced a range of new social distancing and hygiene solutions to help this happen so we can all help protect each other when travelling through the airport.
“We want people to understand that airports and air travel is a safe environment in this Covid-19 travelling world.
“We are pleased to be in a position to reopen the north terminal and we look forward to welcoming back easyJet as they restart flights alongside our other airlines.
“The recent Government announcement regarding the 14-day quarantine period for passengers arriving into the UK is, in our opinion, already having an impact on the start of air travel recovery.
“We accept the Government’s absolute priority is the protection of public health, but we continue to push for regular, country by country reviews of quarantine regulations, based on medical evidence.”
Gatwick, the UK’s second busiest airport, has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
It does not expect demand to return to normal levels for up to four years.
Virgin Atlantic has confirmed it will not resume flights at the airport, while British Airways is considering taking the same action.