Record breaking year at London Stansted as passenger growth takes off

  • Busiest ever year with 28 million passengers, up 8.1 per cent
  • Top growth in Spain, France and Germany
  • Emirates daily service to Dubai leads airline development in 2018

London Stansted Airport recorded its busiest ever year as it welcomed over 28 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 2.1 million passengers and 8.1 per cent over the previous 12 months.

The month of December saw over two million passengers pass through the airport, up 10.3 per cent on the same month last year and the busiest December on record at Stansted.

The record-breaking performance helped maintain Stansted’s position as the fastest growing major airport in the UK and one of the top five fastest growing large airports in Europe. The airport now serves 200 destinations across 40 countries, and offers more scheduled connections to Europe than any other airport in the world apart from Munich.

During 2018, the top five destination countries reporting the strongest growth by passenger volumes over the previous year were Spain (+331,000), France (+189,000), Germany (+187,000), Turkey (+176,000) and UAE (+123,000). UK-wide domestic traffic increased by 197,000 passengers.

The top five international destination airports recording the largest increase in passenger numbers during the year were Frankfurt (+176, 000), Dubai (+123,000), Naples (+95,000), Alicante (+92,000) and Nice (+91,000). Passenger numbers to Belfast increased by 301,000 compared to 2017.

The strong passenger growth we once again experienced during 2018, and the achievement of passing the 28 million passenger milestone for the first time in a 12-month period, reflects our clear commitment to re-invigorate the airport and make it more attractive to airlines and passengers.

During the year we welcomed six new airlines, including the world-leading Emirates offering a daily service to Dubai and 150 convenient onward connections, and also saw many of our airline partners increase capacity and choice of destinations, particularly Ryanair and Jet2.com.

Stansted was the fastest growing major airport in the UK during 2018, and one of the fastest growing across Europe, and we are confident we will continue to grow passenger numbers and provide even more choice of airlines and destinations, including building on our work to secure more long-haul services to destinations across China, India and the USA.

The year ahead will also be significant for our £600 million airport transformation project. We have already made great progress but, as we begin the construction phase of our new arrivals building later this spring, we will really see the flagship development of the project take shape.

“We have built real momentum behind our vision for Stansted and, given the strong economic performance of our region, our available runway capacity and investment in new facilities, the airport’s future is very bright.
Ken O’ Toole, CEO of London Stansted