ROUTES EUROPE: UK Airports on the Rise

Latest statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) shows that UK airports collectively reported a 3.4 per cent growth in total passengers in 2013 when compared to the previous year.

Latest statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) shows that UK airports collectively reported a 3.4 per cent growth in total passengers in 2013 when compared to the previous year. The terminal and transit passenger data showed that the country’s top eleven facilities all reported rises in traffic during the last calendar year with Liverpool John Lennon, Belfast International and Jersey the only airports in the top 20 to report declines in demand.

The data from the CAA highlights London’s Southend Airport as the fastest growing airport in the UK. The facility enjoyed its busiest year ever with almost a million passengers using the regenerated regional airport in 2013 - and is now looking forward to even more exciting developments in 2014. Around 970,000 passengers passed through the Essex airport between January and December 2013 - beating the previous record of 721,661 (set year to the end of February 2013). This sustained growth eclipses previous yearly averages of around 692,000 passengers back in the 1960’s heyday of London Southend, when it was the third busiest airport in the UK (behind Heathrow and Manchester).

“2013 was a fantastic year for London Southend,” said David Lister, operations director, London Southend Airport. “We think our unique promises to passengers – that they should wait no more than 4-minutes to go through security and that, on arrival with hand baggage, they are on the rail station platform within 15 minutes of leaving the aircraft and then in central London in 53 minutes - is what has been a big part of our success over the last year and the factor which is driving more and more passengers to choose London's newest airport. And we have more great things to come in 2014.”

To support the rapid growth of London Southend, a £10 million extension to the terminal is scheduled to open this week. This extension is to ensure the high standards of service passengers currently can enjoy at London Southend Airport are not compromised as passenger numbers continue to grow.

The second fastest growing top 30 UK airport in 2013 was Norwich Airport in East Anglia where passenger numbers grew from 396,676 in 2012 to 463,401 in 2014, a 16.8 per cent rise. The passenger boost was in a number of different sectors with the biggest increase being in the holidaymaker category which increased by 45 per cent on 2012, with over 107,000 people enjoying the benefits of starting their holiday from their local airport.

Offshore helicopter traffic enjoyed yet another year of record growth with over 98,000 passengers travelling offshore, an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year with Norwich now the UK’s second busiest offshore heliport after Aberdeen. Meanwhile, KLM’s hub feeder service to Amsterdam Schiphol had another strong year as a result of the addition of the fourth daily flight throughout the summer months, which has return in the past week for summer 2014.

“Posting strong passenger growth is good news for the airport and the region, as ultimately the flights that are operated from the airport must be used by the travelling public if they are to remain on offer,” said Andrew Bell, chief executive officer, Norwich Airport. ”We recognise that we still have a great deal to do in order to satisfy the demands of the region’s business and leisure travelers alike and we are working hard to bring back routes that proved popular in the past, and to identify new route opportunities.”

As well as the return of the seasonal fourth daily rotation from KLM, Norwich Airport has also secured a link to Edinburgh as part of an enhanced offering from Loganair, which operates as a franchise partner of flybe. This is the third service which Loganair operates from Norwich Airport, complementing operations to Manchester as well as a seasonal link with Guernsey. "Restoring the frequency of services between Norwich and Edinburgh has been a key target for the airport over the past 18 months and I am pleased we have now achieved this,” added Bell.

TERMINAL AND TRANSIT PASSENGERS FROM UK AIRPORTS IN 2013 (UK Civil Aviation Authority data)

Rank

Airport

Terminal & Transit Passengers

% Traffic Share

% Change (vs 2012)

Share Change (vs 2012)

1

London Heathrow

72,367,054

31.2 %

3.3 %

(-0.1) pp

2

London Gatwick

35,444,206

15.3 %

3.5 %

-

3

Manchester

20,751,581

9.0 %

5.1 %

0.2 pp

4

London Stansted

17,852,393

7.7 %

2.2 %

(-0.1) pp

5

Edinburgh

9,775,443

4.2 %

6.3 %

0.1 pp

6

London Luton

9,697,944

4.2 %

0.8 %

(-0.1) pp

7

Birmingham

9,120,201

3.9 %

2.2 %

(-0.1) pp

8

Glasgow

7,363,764

3.2 %

2.9 %

-

9

Bristol

6,131,896

2.6 %

3.6 %

-

10

Newcastle

4,420,839

1.9 %

1.3 %

-

11

East Midlands International

4,334,117

1.9 %

6.3 %

0.1 pp

12

Liverpool (John Lennon)

4,187,493

1.8 %

(-6.2) %

(-0.2) pp

13

Belfast International

4,023,336

1.7 %

(-6.7) %

(-0.2) pp

14

Aberdeen

3,440,765

1.5 %

3.3 %

-

15

London City

3,379,753

1.5 %

12.0 %

0.2 pp

16

Leeds Bradford

3,318,358

1.4 %

11.0 %

0.1 pp

17

Belfast City (George Best)

2,541,759

1.1 %

13.2 %

0.1 pp

18

Southampton

1,722,758

0.7 %

1.7 %

(-0.1) pp

19

Jersey

1,453,863

0.6 %

(-1.0) %

(-0.1) pp

20

Glasgow Prestwick

1,145,836

0.5 %

7.3 %

-

21

Cardiff Wales

1,072,062

0.5 %

4.3 %

-

22

Southend

969,912

0.4 %

57.2 %

0.1 pp

23

Guernsey

886,396

0.4 %

(-0.5) %

-

24

Exeter

741,465

0.3 %

5.7 %

-

25

Isle Of Man

739,683

0.3 %

6.1 %

-

26

Doncaster Sheffield

690,351

0.3 %

(-0.5) %

-

27

Bournemouth

660,272

0.3 %

(-4.7) %

-

28

Inverness

608,184

0.3 %

0.7 %

-

29

Norwich

463,401

0.2 %

16.8 %

-

30

City Of Derry (Eglinton)

384,973

0.2 %

(-3.3) %

-

OVERALL TOTAL

231,737,483

-

3.4 %

-