Monarch Airlines launched its new service from London Gatwick to Gibraltar over the bank holiday weekend and was welcomed by a water cannon salute.
The salute was provided by the Airport Fire and Rescue Service and was a first for the airport, but a traditional practice worldwide that welcomes inaugural flights.
Commenting on the launch of the service, Minister for Tourism, Samantha Sacramento said: “London Gatwick is Gibraltar’s busiest destination and we are very pleased to welcome Monarch Airlines on this route, offering a greater choice of weekly departures and allowing growth on this existing destination to further open Gibraltar to increased tourism and business opportunities.”
The new route will operate four times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, on the airline’s 174 seat Airbus A320 fleet.
This new service becomes the fourth UK destination served by the airline, joining London Luton, Manchester and Birmingham.
Minister for culture Steven Linares welcomed arriving passengers, together with Terence Lopez, Air Terminal Director and Nicky Guerrero, Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Tourist Board.
Ms Sacramento also said: “Monarch’s confidence and partnership in Gibraltar is shown by this new service becoming the fourth UK destination on offer.”
“This new service is part of a 40% increase in seats on offer for this summer season, brought about by new route launches and an increase in seat and frequency offerings on existing services, highlighting the Gibraltar Tourist Board’s efforts in increasing air connectivity.”
The new service will operate as year round, with four services per week already on sale for this coming Winter season.