London City Airport is preparing for a surge in passengers over the peak summer season as international events such as the Edinburgh International Festival and Dublin Horse Show bolster traditional business and holiday routes.
The most popular destinations this summer are Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Dublin, Zurich and Frankfurt. International arts and sporting events over the school holiday period are driving demand at London City Airport, which is also preparing to launch a string of new routes in the autumn.
The only airport actually in London is expecting 26,000 people to fly this weekend (July 21-23), when most state schools in England break up for the summer holidays.
Forward bookings suggest the busiest week of the season is expected to be the week commencing September 18th as business travellers, city-breakers and late sun-seekers converge to produce a surge in bookings.
The busiest week so far this summer was the week commencing June 12th, when airlines enjoyed a surge in bookings. British Airways increased its leisure routes in the second half of June. The airline launched a new seasonal Skiathos service on 26 June and announced on Tuesday that it would launch new routes to Paris Orly, Prague and Reykjavik from London City Airport in October. In April TAP Portugal also announced its arrival at London City and a new service to Lisbon from October.
Declan Collier, Chief Executive of London City Airport, said: “Leisure routes are really taking off this summer as city-breakers and arts lovers make the most of the summer season. Our airport investment programme means that millions more passengers will be able to enjoy the speed and convenience of using the airport in the coming years.”
Construction is due to begin later in the year on a £350 million expansion programme. The project will enable an additional 2 million passengers per year to use the airport by 2025 and add up to 30,000 permitted flights per year.
London City offers a variety of leisure routes to appeal to sun seekers, including Ibiza, Nice, and Bergerac in the Dordogne, with British Airways, and seasonal CityJet services to Toulon on the Côte D’Azur and Avignon in Provence.
A record 4.5 million passengers flew from London City Airport in 2016, driven by new routes and investment in new facilities.