Another record-breaking month for Stansted Airport as May passenger total tops 2.14m

The departure lounge at Stansted Airport.

The departure lounge at Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

Stansted Airport has reported another record-breaking month after handling more than 2.1m passengers during May.

The total of 2.145m was 4.6% higher compared with the same month last year, representing the airport’s busiest-ever May.

And the load factor at Stansted – the average proportion of seats occupied on each flight – also reached a new all-time high for the month, at 87.1%.

In the 12 months to the end of May, the total number of passengers using the airport totalled 23.330m, up 9.3% on the previous 12 months.

This leaves Stansted well on course to beat its highest-ever rolling annual total of around 23.9m, which it achieved during 2007, at some point before the end of 2016.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive at Stansted Airport, said: “I’m pleased to once again report very positive passenger growth at Stansted as we recorded our busiest ever May at the airport, driven by all-time high load factors for the month and despite the continuing disruption of air traffic control strikes in France.

“Passenger numbers were also boosted by the start of the first B787 Dreamliner flights by Thomson to the USA and Mexico, the launch of British Airways sell-out first flights to Spain and Portugal plus increased frequency on key Ryanair routes.

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“To help improve efficiency, provide more choice and increase capacity to keep up with forecast growth in the coming years, work is underway on a series of new projects to enhance the passenger experience as we continue to invest in new facilities and services to make Stansted the airport of choice for the region.”

Cargo volumes at Stansted also saw a significant increase last month, rising by 9.2% compared with May 2015 to 20,463tonnes. The rolling annual total now stands at 247,216 tonnes, an increase of 6.2% on the previous 12 months and the highest yearly total since 2005.

Earlier this month, Stansted announced the start of work on a final phase of work under its £80m terminal transformation project.

The £5m package of work will focus on security and seating to increase short-term capacity at the airport, along with the creation of 2,500 new “Meet and Greet” spaces and 1,000 more short-stay car parking spaces.

The introduction of Central Image Processing, in line with security rules, will see the hand baggage x-ray team move to a central location away from other security-related activity in the main search area.

Instead of having one person at each lane watching the x-ray images, they will be assessed by a team of experts in a different location with new, higher-tech equipment.

Five hundred more seats will be also added to the main departure lounge.