London City Airport breaks records with ‘new peak’ of 4.8m passengers

London City Airport saw demand reach a new peak in 2018, with passenger levels hitting a record-breaking 4.8 million.

The volume of annual passengers comprises both arriving and departing customers and is the highest ever recorded for the 31-year old airport, located in the Royal Docks area of London.

It represents a 6.4 per cent increase in passengers year-on-year, compared to the 4.5m passengers in 2017. Strategic decisions by airline partners helped deliver the passenger growth, alongside airport investment in technology.

In 2018 TAP Air Portugal added a new service to Porto, Aer Lingus also began operating on the popular Dublin route, creating easy North American links via its extensive route network. 

The airport is also encouraging airlines to invest in new generation, more fuel efficient and quieter aircraft like the A220-100 currently flown by SWISS.

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City 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.

“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.”

The growth in 2018 is anticipated to continue in 2019, based on upcoming investments by airlines in brand new destinations and fleet increases. Eastern Airways will now be operating a Newcastle service for Flybe, and LOT Polish Airlines starting operations at London City for the first time with a Warsaw route.

This will be joined by a Budapest service in February and a Vilnius service in May.

British Airways will also add four additional aircraft in 2019, as part of a wider investment by BA CityFlyer in its London City base. These aircraft will add nearly 20 per cent more seats from London City Airport in 2019 and enable the launch of new destinations, including Munich from February and Split in Croatia from June.

A £500 million transformation of the airport is underway, which once complete in 2022, will mean London City Airport is able to accommodate a further two million passengers a year and over 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.

Later this year London City Airport will launch a new brand identity and begin testing a new digital air traffic control tower ahead of introduction in 2020.