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Stansted: Airport confirms return to annual growth after busiest December for four years.

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:39 14 January 2014

Andrew Harrison, managing director at Stansted Airport.

Andrew Harrison, managing director at Stansted Airport.

Archant

Stansted Airport today reported its busiest December for four years, with nearly 1.32million passengers having passed through its terminal last month.

The figure, which was 7.7% higher compared with December 2012 and represented a fourth consecutive monthly increase, confirmed the airport’s first full calendar year of growth since 2007 with the annual total of 17.84m passengers being 2.2% up on 2012.

The upturn in passenger numbers at Stansted follows its acquisition early last year by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) from the former BAA company, which fought a lengthy battle against a Competition Commission ruling requiring it to sell the Essex airport.

MAG has already signed new long-term agreements with low-cost carriers Ryanair and easyJet, as part of a strategy to increase Stansted’s annual passenger total to 30m over the next 10 years, and has also begun work on a multi-million refit of the main passenger terminal, which saw a new, enlarged security area come into use last month, in time for the Christmas get-away.

Andrew Harrison, managing director, said: “Stansted has enjoyed a very positive and encouraging first 10 months under the new ownership of MAG. December’s traffic results are a clear indication that Stansted is back and successfully competing with other London airports.

“We now expect the airport to enter a period of sustained growth this year following the signing of long-term agreements with both Ryanair and easyJet.

“These deals will ensure Stansted is once again London’s fastest growing airport over the next five years and will see the airport serving over 30m passengers a year by 2024. We also believe Stansted will be full by around 2030 when we reach the current planning limit of 35m passengers a year.

Mr Harrison added: “We are now focused on the development of long-haul services from Stansted, and have called on businesses from across the region to work with us to show potential airlines the strength of demand that exists for flights to the Middle East, North America and Asia.

“We’ve also made excellent progress with our £80m redevelopment of the terminal to transform the passenger experience, including opening the new security area before Christmas, and our campaign to improve the rail service between London, Stansted and beyond is really gaining traction, including the Airports Commission recommendation to the Treasury to begin urgent studies into increasing capacity and quality of the service.

“Together, these are real signs of change after years of declining traffic. With the centre of London’s economy shifting eastwards, we’re determined to maximise Stansted’s potential to drive economic growth and boost the competitiveness of London and the East of England.”

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