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Lufthansa Ends 20-Year Gatwick Gap to Tap Extra Frankfurt Runway

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July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG will resume flights from London’s Gatwick airport after a two-decade absence as the German carrier seeks to feed its expanding Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa will offer a twice-daily service from Gatwick beginning Oct. 30, expanding its operations between the U.K. capital and Frankfurt to 111 flights a week, including trips to London City airport and its main British base at Heathrow.

Europe’s second-biggest airline will commence the flights nine days after Frankfurt airport opens a fourth runway, lifting capacity to 700,000 aircraft movements a year by 2020, 236,000 more than took place in 2010, according to owner Fraport AG.

“Available capacity at Frankfurt will increase and Gatwick offers another catchment area in the southeast U.K.,” London-based Lufthansa spokeswoman Gudrun Gorner said. “Heathrow is very much up to capacity and it’s not easy to get slots there.”

Frankfurt airport last year handled 53 million customers, compared with 66 million at Heathrow and 31 million at Gatwick. Gatwick’s passenger count rose 5.2 percent last month to 3.2 million, according to a statement today. Heathrow, where the runways are operating at 99 percent of capacity, lured 6.1 million, a 6.3 percent increase, as carriers used bigger planes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Rothwell in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at

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