London City Airport expects strong passenger demand to fuel recovery in 2022

London City Airport expects strong passenger demand to fuel recovery in 2022

  • Central London airport expects meaningful growth in 2022 as British Airways announces significant summer schedule
  • More than three quarters of 2019 routes to be on the London City departure board in 2022
  • New routes include Thessaloniki, Barcelona and the return of 2019 top performer Milan
  • 714,000 passengers used London City in 2021, down 21% on 2020

London, UK, 2022-Jan-19 — /Travel PR News/ — London City Airport expects pent up passenger demand to fuel a surge in growth in 2022, with the introduction of new routes and the return of top-selling destinations, resulting in more than three quarters of 2019 routes operating at LCY this year.

The prediction follows the announcement of a busy summer schedule for British Airways, the airport’s biggest customer, and the easing of COVID restrictions, which are helping to fuel a return to business and leisure travel.

Flights to Milan, one of the airport’s top performing routes, and which alone carried 275,000 passengers from the centre of London to the centre of Milan in 2019, will be reinstated this year.

Barcelona will return to the London City network for the first time in almost a decade, while new routes such as Thessaloniki join established summer favourites like Split, Mykonos and Faro.

The upturn in confidence at the airport reflects the easing of travel restrictions and the proactive role LCY has played to work with and support its airline partners as the industry looks to bounce back from the worst of the pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 can be seen in the airport’s 2021 results. 714,000 passengers used London City, down 21% on 2020 and 86% on 2019. However, in the first six months of the year, when extensive global travel restrictions were in place, the airport handled only 75,184 passengers. In the last six months, as restrictions were eased, 638,785 passengers used the airport and very strong month on month growth was achieved.

There were other positive trends for the airport in 2021, with business travel back strongly on all domestic routes, with Edinburgh the best performer. Internationally, Amsterdam was the airport’s strongest route, with KLM growing to four rotations per day in the autumn, with high passenger load factors. Other key business routes have included Zurich and Geneva, operated by SWISS and Frankfurt, operated by Lufthansa.

In October and November last year, business travel accounted for over 46% of all LCY journeys, which was the total year average in 2019. Between late September and late November, over 30,000 passengers used the airport each week, peaking at 37,000 in late October. The announcement of additional testing and self-isolation requirements by Government to combat the Omicron variant saw passenger demand fall by 40% in December.

Business traffic will be further strengthened in 2022 with British Airways moving the majority of its Luxembourg traffic to LCY, to complement the five daily flights soon to be offered by Luxair.

Commenting on the year ahead and on the 2021 passenger figures, airport CEO Robert Sinclair said:

“At the start of the pandemic we made a conscious decision to work with and support our airlines, as we recognised they were facing the same challenges as we were. Investing in these relationships in the hard times has facilitated what we believe will be a strong bounce back starting with a really exciting summer schedule from London City.

“2021 was certainly tough for everyone. However, despite predictions from some to the contrary, we did see the emergence of positive business travel trends, which we believe will continue in 2022 and will be so critical for the economic recovery of London and the UK more widely.

“While we are not out the woods yet, the signs from governments in the UK and across Europe are that we are learning to live with COVID. I am optimistic that the restrictions that remain today, particularly for vaccinated passengers, will be eased and in time, removed altogether so we can return to the simple and affordable ways of flying before the pandemic.

“London City will be a huge asset for London in the years ahead and we look forward to welcoming more passengers and building relationships with new airlines so we can connect the capital to more destinations and opportunities across the world.”

Notes to Editors:

  • More information on the latest BA routes and schedule at London City can be found here:
  • In 2019 the airport connected to Milan Linate. British Airways will now fly to Milan Malpensa
  • KLM operate 3 daily rotations to Amsterdam per day, Loganair operate 10 weekly rotations to Dundee, LOT operate 6 weekly rotations to Vilnius, Lufthansa will operate 11 weekly rotations to Frankfurt from February, SWISS operate twice daily on Zurich and three times per week on Geneva, and Luxair will move to twice daily services to Luxembourg City from February
  • In October/ November 2021, according to the CAA, London City’s percentage of business travellers was 46%, Heathrow’s was 21%, Gatwick’s was 11% and Stansted’s was 10%
  • London City’s peak week in 2021 was w/c 25/10 where it welcomed 37,000 passengers
  • The top 3 performing routes in 2021 were Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Belfast City
  • For more information, contact Liam McKay, Director of Corporate Affairs on +447545439073


Liam McKay
Director of Corporate Affairs
London City Airport
Mobile: +447545439073

Source: London City Airport