Stansted Airport closes in on annual record after busy July

Inside the main terminal at Stansted Airport.

Inside the main terminal at Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

Stansted is poised to smash its annual passenger record after more than 2.3m people used the aiport during July.

It means that a total of 23.605m passengers have passed through the main terminal in the past 12 months, only around 400,000 short of the current all-time high.

With the July total of 2.336m representing an increase of nearly 150,000, or 6.6%, compared with the same month last year, the airport looks to be on course to beat the previous record for any 12-month period by the end of this year.

The rolling annual figure for the year to the end of July represents growth of 8.4% compared with the previous 12 months, with numbers boosted by a succession of new routes.

Thursday, July 28 was the busiest day for Stansted’s runway since October 2008, with a total of 583 flights.

And aircraft using the airport were also well filled, with the month’s load factor of 91.8% (the percentage of available seats sold) being a record for July.

The Balearic Islands of Spain, together with Dublin, Edinburgh and Rome, topped the list of favourite destinations during July, with a second year of peak summer season flights to long-haul destinations Orland and Cancum also proving a hit.

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Stansted Airport chief executive Andrew Cowan said: “The beginning of the school holidays helped boost Stansted’s traffic to over 2.3m passengers, while load factors averaged 91.8%, another record for the month of July at Stansted. The rolling annual total now stands at 23.6m passengers as we close in on our all-time high of 24m.”

He added: “Western Mediterranean destinations, particularly Majorca and Ibiza continue to top the favorites list with holidaymakers while Orlando and Cancun operated by Thomson and Thomas Cook, proved a big hit with families looking to try out the new long haul offer from Stansted.

“There was also a rising demand in domestic traffic as Brits jetted off for a summer staycation in Ireland and Scotland.”

Cargo volumes at Stansted were broadly flat last month, edging 0.4% higher compared with July 2015 to 20,820tonnes, although the rolling annual total remains a healthy 6.4% ahead at 248,085tonnes.

Last month’s total included 34 of the world’s top equestrian horses bound for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.