London City Airport in the UK and the Cypriot gateways of Larnaca and Paphos all announced record-breaking annual traffic figures this morning.
London City Airport (LCY) welcomed 4.5 million passengers in 2016 and put the impressive 5% upturn in traffic down to its expanding route network, investment in facilities and the continued convenience of the only airport actually in London.
CEO, Declan Collier said: “More people are travelling and making the right choice by opting for London City Airport.
"Our offer of a speedy and efficient passenger experience, just six miles from the City of London, means less time in transit and more time for the purpose of your trip.
“With 52% of all passengers travelling for business, the 5% year-on-year growth demonstrates that the appetite for business travel to and from London remains strong despite the unpredictable political climate, as we prepare to expand the airport in 2017 to meet increasing demand.”
In the summer of 2016, the UK Government approved planning permission for the £344 million City Airport Development Programme (CADP), construction for which begins this year.
The development will enable 6.5 million passengers to travel through the airport’s doors by 2025 and add 29,000 additional flights per year.
Collier called the go-ahead for the privately funded investment hugely significant.
It includes plans for seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway to maximise runway capacity, and a terminal extension to accommodate increasing passenger numbers.
The airport also got a new owner in 2016 when Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) sold it to a consortium of international infrastructure investors for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £2 billion.
The consortium comprises Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and Wren House Infrastructure Management Limited, the infrastructure investment arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority.
Meanwhile, in Cyprus, a total of 8.9 million passengers passed through Larnaca and Paphos airports last year – a healthy 18% rise on 2016.
The upturn was the result of a 24.5% increase in passenger numbers in Larnaca and a 2.6% rise in traffic at Paphos.
Operator, Hermes Airports, attributed the "significant increase in the number of passengers" to the entrance of new airlines and the introduction of new routes.
According to Hermes Airports’ data, the most important hikes were recorded by the markets of Russia (+47%), the United Kingdom (+13%), Greece (+14.5%) and Israel (+47%).
Moreover, the Cypriot airports’ network was further enhanced by the operation of 10 new airlines and the introduction of 21 new routes, which Hermes claims boosted the island’s connectivity.
The new airlines, Cobalt Air, Pobeda, TUS Airways, Ellinair, AirBerlin, AzurAir, YanAir, WindRose, Alitalia and Israir, carried some 428,000 passengers, while an increase in the number of flights to existing routes led to an additional 919,000 passengers.
Commenting on the numbers, Hermes Airports’ CEO, Eleni Kaloyirou, said that its 2016 results "had a direct positive impact on Cyprus’ economy and tourism”.
She also revealed that she expects the upward trend to continue in 2017.