A total of 5,100,025 passengers flew in to and out of London City Airport in 2019. The figure is a year-on-year increase of 6.3 per cent, which has been driven by the launch of new routes combined with additional flights and larger aircraft with more seats on existing routes.
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 an increase of 6.9 per cent on the previous year. Edinburgh (511,116) and Dublin (460,132) continue to be the second and third most popular routes respectively.
Impressive growth on key domestic routes is evidence of the increasingly important role London City Airport plays in the United Kingdom, providing fast and frequent connections between central London and the regions. Passenger numbers were up on routes to Belfast (14.7 per cent, 210,936), Glasgow (10.2%, 252,980) and Edinburgh (3.3 per cent, 511,116). The addition of a new Dundee route in 2020 strengthens this.
Overall, growth in passenger numbers was driven more by new markets and seasonal leisure-oriented routes, than by many established routes. This demonstrates the diversification of the airport’s customer base and increased relevance in the leisure market, which includes tourists using the airport as the most convenient gateway to visit the capital and the rest of the UK beyond. Based on the latest Civil Aviation Authority data, leisure passengers account for 55 per cent of people travelling to and from the airport. This would amount to 2,828,374 passengers in 2019.
The launch of LOT Polish Airline’s routes to Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw brought an additional 194,000 passengers through the airport. British Airways’ subsidiary, BA CityFlyer, continued to drive growth as the airport’s largest airline partner with an additional 195,000 passengers generated through additional aircraft and improved load factors, the launch of its Munich route and increased operations to Rome (FCO), Zurich and Edinburgh.
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, also generated extra seats and passengers.