How London City was the UK’s 15th busiest airport in May

In May this year, London City Airport was the 15th busiest airport in the UK by passengers. In 2019, it was the 12th busiest. Britain’s CAA shows the airport – famous for its short runway and steep final approach – had 5.1 million passengers at the time, around 1.4 million below its existing passenger limit. (It also has an annual circulation limit of 111,000.)

Plans up to nine million

Airports are no different from other businesses: they need to plan ahead regardless of the current environment. This is how London City – the closest facility to central London – is seeking permission to increase passenger numbers to nine million by 2031, a 38% increase from its current limit and a third more than the three million projected in 2022. It expects to reach pre-pandemic traffic by 2024.


Wants to develop weekend flying

The growth would be mainly through increased weekend flights – for noise reasons it is currently closed between 1.00pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday – and slightly more flights at each end of the day.

This means a potentially large amount of additional flights without increasing infrastructure. This would go hand in hand with London City’s growing interest in leisure, often high-end flights. As you’d expect, he pointed out that the expansion will be done with very quiet next-gen equipment.

In May, Amsterdam was London City’s top destination. Photo: Getty Images.

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London City in May 2022

The latest airline passenger data is from May. According to Britain’s CAA, London City had 291,200 regular passengers, just 65% of the 451,000 it had in May 2019. There is still a long way to go before it reaches, let alone exceed, its pre-traffic. -pandemic. Nonetheless, it’s getting there: May passengers were up 17% from April.

More than three quarters (77%) of passengers in May were international. The short trip to Amsterdam, around 209 miles (336 km), was its main market, served by both BA Cityflyer and KLM.

Amsterdam had 41,843 passengers, as shown below, making it the largest market. The Dutch city had about one in five Londoners. international passengers – making it is crucial. (Note that the CAA figures include all traffic: point-to-point and transit. This does not mean that 41,843 were only going to/from Amsterdam.)

  1. amsterdam: 41,843 passengers in May 2022
  2. Edinburgh: 33,428
  3. Zürich: 25,843
  4. Dublin: 21,467
  5. Frankfurt: 20,925
  6. Luxemburg: 19,027
  7. Glasgow: 17,404
  8. City of Belfast: 13,030
  9. Berlin: 12,412
  10. rotterdam: 10,981

London City’s top ten routes by passengers in May 2022. Image: GCMap.

Between July 8 and October 29, the end of the summer flying season, London City offers a total of 42 scheduled routes. BA CityFlyer – obviously by far the airport’s leading airline – has 32. These include three new offerings so far this year: Luxembourg (introduced March 27), Thessaloniki (June 25); and San Sebastián (begins July 8). And, from this winter, it’s Salzburg (December 9).

Another novelty, Swiss’ l’odyssey, which – from July 8 – connects London City to the Normandy town of Deauville. This is the first time Deauville has had flights to the UK since October 2017. Aimed at upscale weekends, it operates on Fridays and Sundays using a 27-seater Saab 340. I’m on the first flight this afternoon, so stay tuned.

What do you think of London City’s ambition? Let us know in the comments.

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