Stansted: Airport’s annual passenger total continues to climb after 6.9% rise in February
PUBLISHED: 11:43 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:01 21 March 2014
The rate of annual passenger growth at Stansted Airport continued to climb last month, new figures revealed today.
The airport handled nearly 1.18million passengers during February, a 6.9% increase compared with the same month a year ago.
Although the month-on-month figure was slightly lower than the 7.2% growth recorded in January, it takes the increase in Stansted’s rolling 12-month total to 3.0%, against 2.6% a month earlier.
The 12-month total of nearly 17.999million passengers puts Stansted well on course for a calendar year total above 18m for the first time since 2011.
Having been in decline for five years, numbers at Stansted have been building steadily since it was acquired by Manchester Airports Group from the former BAA company, with the rolling annual figure having returned to growth in June last year.
And the total is set to increase further throughout 2014 and beyond, with MAG having agreed new long-term deals with a number of airlines including low-cost carriers Ryanair and easyJet.
Ryanair, the largest operator at Stansted, plans to build its traffic at the airport from last year’s total of around 13m to more than 18m by 2018 and to nearly 21m by 2023.
It is increasing capacity by around 1.3million seats this summer and earlier this week announced plans for next winter involving an extra 2m seats, including eight new destinations and additional flights of 36 other routes.
Andrew Harrison, Stansted’s managing director, said: “The fact that the number of passengers passing through Stansted in February was 6.9% up on last year underlines just how much Stansted has changed for the better in MAG’s ownership, and reflects the strong confidence of our airlines as they grow the number of services offered from the airport.
“The overall number of flights at the airport grew by nearly 5% over February last year as Ryanair in particular added more services and increased frequency, and Pegasus Airlines enjoyed strong passenger demand on its services to Turkey and connecting flights to the Middle East from its Istanbul hub.
“The coming weeks will see a significant number of new routes launch from the airport, offering passengers an even greater choice of European destinations, while our work to demonstrate the demand from businesses across the region for long-haul services continues at great pace.
“As our transformation drive to improve terminal facilities and services moves to the next phase as we focus on the re-development of the departure lounge and retail experience following the official opening of our new security area, Stansted’s prospects look very positive as we compete to attract even more passengers and airlines.”