According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, Australians are booking flights into London's second airport at a rate of knots under the new Qantas-Emirates alliance, which offers direct flights from Dubai to Gatwick and several other UK airports as alternatives to Heathrow.
Calling Gatwick one of Qantas' "best performing destinations outside of London Heathrow" in terms of tickets sold, Joyce's comments will surprise many travellers who remember Gatwick as an airport best avoided.
Not the Gatwick you used to know
But that's the old Gatwick. London's second airport has been coming on in leaps and bounds since it was sold to new owners a few years back.
It now boasts two renovated terminals, new lounges and some great facilities for business travellers.
Emirates uses Gatwick's North Terminal, which has undergone a particularly welcome renovation to add space and brighten up the terminal.
The Emirates Lounge in Gatwick is just as impressive as its Heathrow sibling — potentially more so as the Heathrow lounge fills up with Qantas passengers.
Sitting on top of the main London-Brighton railway line to the south of the city, Gatwick's also a convenient way to get into central London – especially if you're heading to the financial districts in the Square Mile and Docklands.
That said, it's more of a trundling Sydney-style commuter train experience rather than a polished airport express dash, although unlike the Heathrow Express you don't need to change trains at Paddington.
The Gatwick downsides? There are still bits of the airport that feel like a miserable 1980s timewarp, the trains are often crowded, and Gatwick's terminals can be a bit of a scrum during low-cost airline peak hours.
Watch out for less comfortable seats on Emirates
Emirates runs three daily Gatwick flights from Dubai using Boeing 777 aircraft: usually the same long-haul 777-300ER planes we see from Australia, but occasionally older 777-300 planes with less comfortable business class.
Whichever 777 is on the flights you're considering, it's not up to the same excellent standard as Emirates' Airbus A380s. For comfort, space and productivity on board, we'd pick the superjumbo every time.
In economy, it's bad news too: these 777s all use the ultra-squashed 3-4-3 seating layout, with narrow seats and narrow aisles. The A380 seats have over an inch more width at every seat — and in the confines of economy, that's an important inch.
Our advice: unless you're absolutely convinced that Gatwick is the airport for you, the better business class and economy class seating on the A380 are strong reasons to fly via Heathrow.
But if Gatwick sees much-rumoured A380 flights, it'll become a real challenger to Heathrow for business travellers heading to London.
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