MIAMI – London City Airport has handled more than five million passengers in 2019. The 5,100,025 number represents a year-on-year increase of 6.3% compared to 2018 figures.

This has apparently been driven by the launch of new routes as well as additional flights and larger aircraft operating out of the airport.

Commenting on the news was Richard Hill, the Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, who talked about how successful 2019 was for the airport. “2019 was a very successful year for London City Airport, with increased demand from passengers and airlines, the launch of new routes and expansion of others, and continued high scores for passenger satisfaction,” Hill said.

“It demonstrates that the combination of speed, convenience, excellent customer service and connectivity to and from the heart of London continues to be a recipe for success.”

Hill also went on about how these passenger numbers may rise due to the investment currently going into the airport.

“That is why we are investing half-a-billion pounds in the transformative City Airport Development Programme to increase capacity and improve our facilities for passengers and airlines,” Hill explained.

“This will ensure we can play a greater role in supporting London as an international destination for business and leisure, while also creating more opportunities for people in East London.”

Looking into the year ahead, he also mentioned that new routes to San Sebastián and Dundee have already been announced, which will highlight further operational growth out of the airport.

Routes: Amsterdam Remains On Top

In terms of breakdown for the numbers, the most popular route has remained to be Amsterdam, with 664,621 passengers using LCY for this route. That figure is up 5.9% compared to 2018.

Edinburgh came in second with 511,116 passengers and Dublin in third with 460,132.

London City also credited the smaller routes, in which passenger numbers in some destinations have reached double-figure growth.

Belfast was the biggest, seeing a 14.7% increase to 210,936, whilst Glasgow was up 10.2% with 252,980 using the route.

With London City Airport traditionally seen as a business-catering airport, the new figures show quite the opposite. Around 55% of the 5.1 million figure, amounting to around 2.8 million passengers are leisure travelers, which would give the airport a significant rebrand in terms of catering to other segments of the market.

The airport credited BA CityFlyer and LOT Polish Airlines for the growth in numbers.

LOT’s services to Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw brought an additional 194,000 passengers into the airport, with BA CityFlyer bringing in a 1,000 more thanks to the launch of routes to Munich as well as increased operations to the likes of Rome, Zurich and Edinburgh alike.

Finally, KLM, through its main services and its codesharing operations with new operator Air Antwerp, and also with Flybe, has seen larger aircraft deployments and passenger numbers between Edinburgh and Belfast too.

What remains clear is that London City Airport has benefitted drastically from these new services, and it most definitely shows in its passenger numbers.

With new routes due to be launched this year, it could be a possibility that both the airport sticks at the five million-plus level, but over the next few years, start gearing up to handle as many as six million by the first half of this decade.