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London City business traffic recovers to 2019 average

London City Airport
London City Airport, © London City Airport

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LONDON - Recovery takes shape: London City Airport expects pent up passenger demand and business travel to fuel a surge in growth in 2022, with the introduction of new routes and the return of important destinations, resulting in more than three quarters of 2019 routes operating at LCY this year.

The prediction follows the announcement of a busy summer schedule for British Airways, the airport’s biggest customer, and the easing of travel restrictions, which are helping to fuel a return to business and leisure travel.

"2021 was certainly tough for everyone," airport CEO Robert Sinclair said. "However, despite predictions from some to the contrary, we did see the emergence of positive business travel trends, which we believe will continue in 2022 and will be so critical for the economic recovery of London and the UK more widely."

Flights to Milan, one of the airport’s top performing routes, will be reinstated this year. Barcelona will return to the London City network for the first time in almost a decade, while new routes such as Thessaloniki join established summer favourites like Split, Mykonos and Faro.

The upturn in confidence at the airport reflects the easing of travel restrictions and the proactive role LCY has played to work with and support its airline partners as the industry looks to bounce back from the worst of the pandemic.

The impact of Covid-19 can be seen in the airport’s 2021 results. 714,000 passengers used London City, down 21% on 2020 and 86% on 2019.

However, in the first six months of the year, when extensive global travel restrictions were in place, the airport handled only 75,184 passengers. In the last six months, as restrictions were eased, 638,785 passengers used the airport and very strong month on month growth was achieved.

October peak

In October and November last year, business travel accounted for over 46% of all LCY journeys, which was the total year average in 2019.

"Between late September and late November, over 30,000 passengers used the airport each week, peaking at 37,000 in late October," the airport said. "Business traffic will be further strengthened in 2022 with British Airways moving the majority of its Luxembourg traffic to LCY, to complement the five daily flights soon to be offered by Luxair."
© | Image: London City Airport | 18/01/2022 16:55

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