Just two flights took off from Gatwick airport in an entire DAY

Where no one is bob, bob, bobbin along: Just TWO flights took off from Gatwick airport yesterday as images show terminal deserted apart from a robin

  • A Ryanair flight to Dublin and an Air Baltic flight to Tallinn, Estonia, took off 
  • The West Sussex airport normally handles 800 flights a day in total
  • A third – a flight to Marrakech – was cancelled, while only three planes arrived

Only two flights took off from Gatwick Airport yesterday, underlining the devastating impact of the pandemic on Britain’s travel industry.

A Ryanair flight to Dublin and an Air Baltic flight to Tallinn, Estonia, were the only services that departed the West Sussex airport, which normally handles 800 flights a day.

A third – an Air Arabia flight to Marrakech – was cancelled, while only three planes touched down all day.

Only two flights took off from Gatwick Airport yesterday, underlining the devastating impact of the pandemic on Britain’s travel industry. The terminal was so quiet that even a robin managed to sneak in (pictured)

Airport insiders said yesterday’s flight total was ‘exceptionally low’ and could be an all-time daily low for Britain’s second biggest airport – barring major events such as the 2018 Christmas drone sightings and the eruption of the Icelandic volcano in 2010.

Gatwick was, until March 2017, the world’s busiest single runway airport, serving 47million passengers last year.

It supported 3,300 jobs before the pandemic forced bosses to effectively mothball commercial operations. Gatwick was hit particularly hard by travel restrictions, with passenger numbers falling 86 per cent in the third quarter of the year.

Earlier in the year, BA decided to move all operations to Heathrow – and a decision on whether to reopen its Gatwick base is still under consideration.

A Ryanair flight to Dublin and an Air Baltic flight to Tallinn, Estonia, were the only services that departed the West Sussex airport, which normally handles 800 flights a day. Pictured: a robin sits in the empty terminal yesterday

Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian Air have also shut their bases at Gatwick.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said 40 per cent of Gatwick employees have lost their jobs during the pandemic and added that it would probably take up to five years for the airport to recover.

The Daily Mail’s campaign to Get Britain Flying Again has been calling for help to rescue airports which have been struggling during the pandemic. Earlier this week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps promised to give airports up to £8million each to help them survive – although some larger airports said this will only cover a fraction of their losses.

A third – an Air Arabia flight to Marrakech – was cancelled, while only three planes touched down all day. Pictured is the empty terminal yesterday

The ban on foreign holidays has been fiercely criticised by travel bosses who fear the second lockdown will ‘crucify’ airports, airlines and tour operators. The severity of the crisis was apparent earlier this month when Heathrow lost its title of Europe’s busiest airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

A Gatwick spokesman said it looked forward to working with the Government to ‘ultimately eliminate quarantine altogether’ while ‘keeping everyone safe’, and added that the financial support was a ‘welcome step in the right direction’.

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