London City Airport

London City Airport records highest-ever passenger numbers

London City Airport has published the annual passenger figures for 2018, the highest ever recorded for the 31-year-old airport.

The number of passengers using the airport has seen a 6.4% increase year-on-year, taking the figure to 4.8 million. In 2017, 4,511,107 passengers used the airport. The number of annual flights in 2018 totalled 75,271 air traffic movements, slightly fewer than in 2017 with the passenger growth being achieved through larger aircraft and higher load factors.

The busiest month was July when 471,519 customers travelled – reflecting how an increase in leisure routes from London City is diversifying the mix of passengers beyond business travel. Leisure passengers, which include tourists using the airport as the most convenient gateway to visit the capital, now make up around half of all passengers. The most popular outbound leisure destinations in 2018 were Florence, Ibiza, Malaga and Mallorca with city breaks to Berlin and Lisbon also in the top 20.

The most popular routes overall were Amsterdam (621,803 passengers), Edinburgh (494,776) and Dublin (480,890) with notable year-on-year increases for the Belfast City route operated by Flybe (up 52.5%) and Milan Linate (up 46.5%) operated by British Airways and Alitalia. The airport attributes the passenger growth to the strategic decisions taken by the airline partners. 

The airport has also been encouraging airlines to invest in new generation, more fuel efficient and quieter aircraft like the A220-100 currently flown by SWISS. During 2018, successful trials were held for the new Embraer E2-190. 

Robert Sinclair, CEO of the airport, said: “In what was a remarkable year for London City Airport, we have seen demand reach a new peak, our airlines invest in new services, and passenger satisfaction increase. It’s proof that the fundamentals of London City – speed, convenience, connectivity and excellent customer service from the heart of London – remain very strong.

“As we take forward a transformative £500 million development programme, which will be complete in 2022, London City Airport can play a much bigger role supporting this thriving international city, connecting London with established and emerging markets and serving a broader range of both leisure and business passengers.”

Meanwhile, a £500 million transformation of the airport is underway, which once complete in 2022, will mean the airport will be able to accommodate a further two million passengers a year and more than 30,000 additional flights. The new infrastructure includes a new terminal four-times the size of the existing facilities, eight new aircraft stands, and a parallel taxiway, to improve the efficiency of the runway. 


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