Gatwick is set for a record breaking Valentine's weekend and half term holiday - with almost a million passengers passing through its doors. That's a 6 per cent increase on last year. Geneva is the most popular destination for the third year in a row, as families head to the ski slopes.
An unprecedented 982,000 people are expected to use the airport between Friday February 13 and Sunday February 22. Passenger numbers for the Valentine's Day weekend alone are also up by 7.9%, with the total number of flyers at more than 400,000. Couples travelling on Valentine's Day will be treated to a gift of a teddy bear and a box of luxury chocolates to ensure love is in the air, and a Queen of Hearts stilt walker will be in the terminal to meet and greet.
City breaks dominate the great British getaways, with Barcelona in second place, closely followed by Dublin and Amsterdam. Nick Pope, Operations Manager at London Gatwick, said "The figures show record numbers will be travelling through the airport during the upcoming Valentine's weekend and half-term, and we look forward to welcoming passengers and helping them enjoy the experience of travelling through Gatwick.
The Top 10 list of half term destinations from London Gatwick 2015:
More than £30 million has been pledged to improve the area around Gatwick with new houses, transport infrastructure and jobs.
The announcement was made by Conservative MP for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt at Gatwick Airport this morning.
A passenger jet was forced to return to Gatwick Airport part-way through its flight to Egypt after a part plunged to the ground.
Thomas Cook Flight TCX1638 left the West Sussex airport at 9am this morning with 237 passengers on board but had to turn back a short time into its flight to Hurghada.
The object is believed to have fallen from the plane near the Kent and East Sussex border, but it was not until the jet was over Belgium that the fault was reported.
None of the passengers were injured after the over wing slide unit plummeted, which led to a probe by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) being launched.
A Kent Police spokesman said:
"Kent Police was called at 11.15am to reports of an object falling from an airplane above the Langton Green and Groombridge area.
"Officers are trying to locate the object which is believed to have landed close to the Kent and Sussex border. Anyone with information should contact 101."
Whilst airborne, the slide unit has fallen from the aircraft and we are aware that local police have been informed.
The aircraft landed safely at Gatwick Airport and we are now immediately undertaking a full investigation and working with the airline authorities. We'd like to apologise to our customers for the delay to their flight.
Screening for Ebola at Gatwick Airport will begin, say Public Health Enland.
It will start in North Terminal, then checks will begin at South Terminal,
followed by St Pancras (Eurostar) later this week, a spokesman said.
He added: "This expands the screening initiated at Heathrow last week, which
is going well. Manchester and Birmingham airports will follow in the coming
"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from
high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive
expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices,
emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from
this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate
The screening is taking place for passengers that Border Force officers
identify as having travelled from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.<
Passengers have their temperature taken and complete a questionnaire asking
about their current health, recent travel history and whether they might be at
potential risk through contact with Ebola patients.<
Based on the information provided and their temperature, passengers will either
be given advice and allowed to continue their journey, or undergo a clinical
assessment by PHE staff and if necessary be transferred to hospital for further
"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices, emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate additional measures."
Army medics are, tonight, preparing to travel to West Africa - to join efforts to stop the deadly Ebola virus spreading.
Teams from Aldershot have been practising in a 'mock' hospital unit to prepare themselves - or at least try to prepare - for what lies ahead in Sierra Leone.
Heathrow and Gatwick airports are getting ready to screen passengers arriving from areas affected by the disease.
Juliette Fletcher has been speaking to families waiting anxiously for news of relatives - and to the fundraisers who want to help.
Families in Kent speak of their fears for relatives in Sierra Leone, which has been badly hit by the Ebola virus. Tom Savvides talks to Genny Jones and Father Ian Hutchinson-Cervantes.
For more information on the appeal in Sussex click here.
A second British person has shown symptoms of the Ebola virus, a Macedonian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has said.
The Foreign Office (FCO) is investigating reports that a British national has died in Macedonia of suspected Ebola.
A British man who is thought to have contracted Ebola has died in Macedonia, according to a senior government official in the country.
The UK is to begin enhanced screening of passengers from Ebola-affected countries at Heathrow, Gatwick and Eurostar terminals, Downing Street has announced.
Earlier, a top US medical official warned that the epidemic could be the "next Aids" if not contained quickly, while the chief of the World Bank said the future of the African continent could be at stake if the spread is not halted.
It comes after the World Health Organisation reported that the recorded number of deaths from Ebola has almost reached 4,000 worldwide and warned the real number could be more.
Posters will be placed in UK airports providing information about the Ebola virus, Downing Street has said.
Discussing a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee this morning, a spokesman for Number 10 said further advice had already been issued to medical professionals across the country in regard to the virus.
Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies told the committee that detailed contingency planning in place for any outbreak on British soil but maintained that the risk to the UK "remained low", the spokesman said.