Stansted Airport on course for annual records after busiest month for nine years

Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport

Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

Stansted Airport has edged yet closer to breaking its annual passenger record following its busiest month for nine years.

A total of nearly 2.495m passengers passed through the airport during August, 11.8% up on the corresponding period a year ago.

It is Stansted’s highest total for any month since the summer of 2007, before the credit crunch and subsequent financial crisis and recession began to affect passenger numbers.

Last month’s figure takes the airport’s rolling annual passenger total for the year to the end of August to just over 23.868m, 8.6% higher compared with the previous 12 months.

And this puts Stansted within around 147,000 of its highest ever rolling annual total of just under 24.016m, which was achieved in the 12 months to the end of October 2007.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive at Stansted Airport, said: “The peak period of the summer holiday getaway saw an average of over 80,000 passengers pass though Stansted each day in August as the airport experienced its busiest single month since 2007.

“In total, we welcomed nearly 2.5m passengers during the month, a significant increase of over 260,000 more passengers than the same month last year.

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“Growth was primarily driven by increased traffic to holiday hotspots in Spain, Portugal, Greece and the USA as well as the growing popularity of destination in the likes of Bulgaria and Croatia.

“The number of passengers on each aircraft also remained strong with over 93% of all available seats occupied on each flight,” he added.

The volume of cargo handled at Stansted Airport last month was 6.8% higher compared with August 2015 at 20,219 tonnes.

And the rolling annual cargo total, already at a record level, was 6.7% higher year-on-year at 249,365 tonnes.

Stansted’s highest ever passenger total for a complete calendar year is just under 23.780m, which was also achieved in 2007.

This seems certain to be broken this year, with the summer’s bumper trade due to be followed by an increased winter schedule of flights compared with last year.

The record for the rolling annual total could, meanwhile, be broken as soon as the end of this month.