UK airports show strong April passenger growth

UK airports show strong April passenger growth

Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports all saw passenger growth last month.

Figures for April from the Manchester Airports Group airports show that tour operators and airlines continued to successfully market alternatives to Sharm el-Sheikh following the suspension of flights after the terrorist downing of a Russian passenger aircraft.

Operators and airlines were able to successfully lay on additional capacity to resorts in mainland Spain, Greece, Italy, Croatia and Portugal, which all posted large year-on-year increases in passengers last month.

Medium and long-haul winter sun destinations that benefited from displaced Red Sea traffic continued to do well, with increased capacity to Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the US all being filled with higher load factors than at this time last year.

Passengers using Manchester airport rose 11.4% year-on-year. Those flying to Spain were up 25%, Greece (+27%), Italy (+23%) and Croatia (+42%).

Long-haul destinations increased in popularity, with increases in traffic to Orlando and New York boosted the US by 30%, while Mexico was up 24%.

Additionally, the airport saw large number of football fans travelling due to Manchester City and Liverpool’s involvement in European competitions in April.

Stansted saw its 25th consecutive month of passenger growth, with load factors at 86%.

The total number of passengers using Stansted grew by 10.1% to more than 23.2 million in the 12 months to April - the highest annual total since July 2008.

East Midlands airport, posted a 5.1% increase in passengers driven by a 49% increase in passengers travelling to Spanish resorts. A recently introduced Eurowings route to Düsseldorf, which has proven popular with business travelers, also helped traffic to Germany increase by 38%.

Bournemouth increased passenger numbers by 6.5%, accounted for by growth to Portugal, the Canary Islands and mainland Spain.

Meanwhile, Gatwick reported its busiest ever April with a 4% year-on-year rise in passengers to 3.3 million, helped by rising numbers on transatlantic routes.

Average load factors were "consistently strong" at 83%.

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