London City Airport has recorded its busiest year in its history as over five million passengers travelled through the airport in 2019.
A total of 5,100,025 passengers flew in to and out of the airport in 2019, an increase of 6.3% year-on-year which the airport suggests has been driven by the launch of new routes, as well as additional flights and larger aircraft on existing routes.
“2019 was a very successful year for London City Airport, with increased demand from passengers and airlines, the launch of new routes and expansion of others, and continued high scores for passenger satisfaction,” commented Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer. “It demonstrates that the combination of speed, convenience, excellent customer service and connectivity to and from the heart of London continues to be a recipe for success.”
“That is why we are investing half-a-billion pounds in the transformative City Airport Development Programme to increase capacity and improve our facilities for passengers and airlines. This will ensure we can play a greater role in supporting London as an international destination for business and leisure, while also creating more opportunities for people in East London,” he continued.
Expanding on plans for the year ahead, Richard Hill added: “We are working on becoming the most sustainable airport in the UK and our Carbon Neutral accreditation announced last month is a significant milestone in that journey.”
“With progress on so many fronts, and new routes to San Sebastián and Dundee already announced, 2020 is shaping up to be another successful year for London City Airport.”
The growth in passenger numbers was primarily driven by new markets and seasonal leisure-oriented routes, with the airport suggesting this highlights the increased relevance in the leisure market – including tourists using the airport to visit the capital and the rest of the UK. Based on Civil Aviation Authority data, leisure passengers account for 55% of people travelling to and from the airport – which would amount to 2,828,374 passengers in 2019.
Reporting on the growth on domestic routes, the airport found passenger numbers were up on routes to Belfast (by 14.7%, 210,936), Glasgow (10.2%, 252,980) and Edinburgh (3.3% to 511,116) while the addition of a new Dundee route in 2020 strengthens this growth.
The launch of LOT Polish Airline’s routes to Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw brought an additional 194,000 passengers through the airport. Meanwhile, BA CityFlyer, the British Airways subsidiary and the airport’s largest airline partner, boosted growth with an additional 195,000 passengers generated through additional aircraft and improved load factors as well as the launch of its Munich route and increased operations to Rome (FCO), Zurich and Edinburgh.
The airport also highlighted that extra passengers were generated from additional flights by Dutch flag-carrier KLM, the launch of Air Antwerp’s new service with a KLM codeshare, and Flybe’s deployment of larger aircraft on some Edinburgh and Belfast flights.
Top routes at London City Airport in 2019
The most popular route remains Amsterdam – with a total of 664,621 passengers travelling between the Dutch capital and London City Airport in 2019, representing a 6.9% increase on the previous year. Edinburgh (with 511,116 passengers) and Dublin (460,132) continue to the be second and third most popular routes respectively.