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New routes help drive record April passenger numbers at Stansted Airport

PUBLISHED: 10:10 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:16 11 May 2017

A Jet2 aircraft at Stansted Airport, where leisure carrier Jet2.com and sister company Jet2Holidays began operating in April 2017.
Picture: TONY PICK

A Jet2 aircraft at Stansted Airport, where leisure carrier Jet2.com and sister company Jet2Holidays began operating in April 2017. Picture: TONY PICK

© 2017 Tony Pick

Stansted has reported its busiest-ever April, with more than 2.1m passengers using the airport last month.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

The first full month of airlines’ summer 2017 schedules saw 2.177m people pass through the main terminal at Stansted, with the figure boosted by this year’s later Easter.

Several new routes, including the first to be operated at Stansted by leisure carrier Jet2.com, also contributed to the growth, with the monthly figure representing an 11% increase on the same period a year earlier and beating the airport’s previous April record, set in 2006.

An average load factor of 89.7% – the percentage of available seats on flights actually filled – was also a new record for April.

The rolling annual passenger total to the end of last month was 24.564m, an increase of 5.7% compared with the previous 12 months.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport, left, with and Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, announcing the leisure carrier's plans to begin operating from Stansted Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport, left, with and Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, announcing the leisure carrier's plans to begin operating from Stansted

Stansted Airport said that international markets saw particularly strong passenger growth compared with April last year, include the Canary Islands, Cyprus, France, Turkey and Denmark.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive at Stansted, said: “The start of the summer flying schedule is always a busy time at the airport but this year we have exceeded all previous records as we experienced our busiest ever April with over 2.1m passengers passing through the terminal.

“The growth in passenger traffic was driven by strong demand for flights to many holiday hotspots across the Easter holidays, the launch of a host of new routes by our airline partners, particularly Ryanair and the newly arrived Jet2.com who kicked-off their first ever flight and holiday offer from any airport in the South-East. We also saw a record number of seats occupied on each flight for any April in the airport’s history.”

On Tuesday this week, hundreds of departing passengers were delayed at Stansted by a fault with security scanners, with some missing their flights as a result.

An artist's impression of the new arrivals building planned at Stansted Airport, with the existing terminal to the left. An artist's impression of the new arrivals building planned at Stansted Airport, with the existing terminal to the left.

Mr Cowan said today that the airport was preparing for the peak summer season with measures including extra check-in capacity and more seating.

“The summer season promises to be another very busy and exciting time for Stansted as airlines add even more routes and increase capacity to key destinations which is great news for passengers who want to fly from their local airport,” he said.

“To help us keep pace with increased demand and improve the passenger experience, a number of projects around the airport will soon begin to provide additional check-in capacity, add more seating in the departure lounge and significantly increase car parking capacity.

“This work will help improve customer service and add vital capacity during the period in advance of the new arrivals building becoming operational and the subsequent full transformation of existing terminal,” added Mr Cowan.

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