London Gatwick Airport has opened a new facility for travellers arriving from the UK and Ireland which it says will allow a faster and more convenient exit.

The route through the South Terminal will see passengers disembark the aircraft from a jetty or steps and head straight into the terminal building.

Previously, arrivals from parts of the UK, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland had to be coached from their aircraft to a special baggage reclaim area to ensure segregation from international passengers, in line with immigration policies.

A new dedicated baggage reclaim belt has also been installed.

Gatwick said it would benefit passengers arriving with Aurigny from Guernsey; British Airways from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Jersey; Aer Lingus from Dublin and Knock; and Ryanair from Cork, Shannon and Dublin.

It added that a small number of flights might occasionally be coached during peak times.

The airport is currently investing £1.11 billion into optimising its infrastructure.

It has also invested in new biometric e-gates (pictured) to speed up domestic departures.

Gatwick’s Head of Terminal Operations, Andy Pule, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve the experience of passengers who travel through Gatwick, and this is a great example of how we invest in existing infrastructure to facilitate growth while also improving service for all.

“UK and Republic of Ireland passengers are frequent visitors to Gatwick and use the airport as a transit point into London, or to connect with the rest of the world.”

This article has been corrected