Annual numbers at Stansted still 5% higher despite impact of later Easter on March total
- Credit: Archant
Passenger numbers at Stansted Airport dipped slightly during March, with this year’s later Easter holiday skewing the year-on-year comparison.
A total of nearly 1.878m travellers passed through the airport last month, 0.8% down on the March 2016 total, with a temporary reduction in capacity on some Ryanair routes at the end of the winter season affecting numbers as well as the timing of Easter, which fell in March last year.
However, the rolling annual total for the year to the end of March 2017 was still 5.0% higher than the previous 12 months, at nearly 24.349m.
Stansted said the top five internationsl markets for growth over the past year had been Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany and Poland.
Spain, Italy and Germany were also the most popular countries by total passenger volumes in the last year with 41% of all the passengers traveling through Stansted flying to or from destinations in these countries. The most popular destinations included Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Bergamo, Berlin and Cologne.
Andrew Cowan, chief executive at Stansted Airport, said: “Passenger numbers during the month were broadly flat compared to March last year which was in line with expectations due to the later Easter holidays and some capacity reductions across the winter schedule.
“However, we’ve already had a very positive start to April following the launch of the airlines’ summer timetables. We’ve seen Jet2.com successfully launch its inaugural flights from its new base at Stansted, the airline’s first in the South East, and existing carriers Ryanair, easyJet, Eurowings and British Airways have added new routes and frequencies to their schedules for this summer.
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“Additionally, last week we received new positive news with the granting of planning permission for our new £130m arrivals building which will help transform our infrastructure and facilities to give our passengers the best possible experience.”
Cargo volumes last month increased by 10.2% compared with March 2016, with more than 24,000 tonnes being shipped through the airport during the month. In the 12 months to the end of March 2017, the annual total grew by 4.7% on the previous year to nearly 255,000 tonnes.