London City Airport Logs Record Passenger Numbers In 2019

London City Airport handled five million passengers during the year of 2019. This is a record for the small central London Airport which has just one runway. The record passenger number marks a 6.3% increase year on year from 2018.

London City Airport, 5 million, passengers
London City Airport handled over five million passengers in 2019. Photo: London City Airport

London City is London’s most unique airport and, indeed, a fairly unique airport in general. The small airport is only open to a fairly limited pool of aircraft. This ties in with the unique geography around the airport, necessitating a fairly steep 5.5-degree approach.

According to FlightGlobal the largest aircraft permitted to use the airport is the Airbus A318. British Airways uses this aircraft for London City’s longest route, BA1 to New York.

Strong domestic growth

During the year, the airport saw an increase in demand from both airlines and passengers. This was particularly felt on domestic flights where three routes all saw an increase in passenger numbers. The number of passengers flying on the Belfast route rose almost 15% to 210,936. This was followed by Glasgow which saw just over 10% more passengers, and Edinburgh which was up 3.3%.

According to London City Airport, citing the Civil Aviation Authority, passengers defied that airport’s reputation as that of business travellers. In fact, 2,828,374 passengers, or 55%, were travelling through the airport for leisure purposes in 2019.

London City Airport, 5 million, passengers
The airport is located right in the heart of London. Photo: London City Airport

The most popular route from London City during 2019 was the connection to Amsterdam. This saw 664,621 passengers, which was a growth of 6.9% compared to the previous year. This was followed by the previously mentioned route to Edinburgh with 511,116 passengers.

Claiming the third-place spot was Dublin. This is a route which actually saw a decline in passengers of -4.3%. The airline has attributed the fall in passengers to operations switching from CityJet to Aer Lingus. Taking the fourth and fifth position were Zurich and Milan with 429,019 and 354,171 passengers respectively. Milan saw a drop in passengers of 1.9% due to the temporary closure of Linate Airport earlier this year.

The remaining top ten saw Frankfurt come 6th, Glasgow 7th, Belfast 8th, Geneva 9th, and Rotterdam 10th.

London City Airport, 5 million, passengers
The airline’s most popular route saw it handling 664,621 passengers. Photo: London City Airport

LOT Polish launches flights

During 2019, LOT Polish Airlines started to fly to London City Airport. Routes from Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw were launched by the airline to the central London facility. This saw an additional 194,000 passengers at the airport throughout the year.

However, the growth of British Airways subsidiary BA CityFlyer also saw an increase in passenger numbers at London City Airport. Partially down to a new Munich route, and increased frequencies elsewhere, the airline brought 195,000 more passengers to the airport.

Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City said: “2019 was a very successful year for London City Airport, with increased demand from passengers and airlines”. He went on to add,

“It demonstrates that the combination of speed, convenience, excellent customer service and connectivity to and from the heart of London continues to be a recipe for success.”

Have you flown from London City Airport on the past year? What did you make of your experience in the Airport? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!