Rising demand for long haul travel in Stansted’s catchment strengthens case for airline growth in the South East


30-09-2019
London Stansted Airport - aerial shot

New research from London Stansted Airport and popular travel fare website Skyscanner has revealed that the airport’s catchment area is responsible for more than half of all UK demand to some of the world’s most popular destinations. According to new data from Skyscanner, over 50% of all UK searches for flights to top locations including Beijing, Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo originated from within the London Stansted catchment area.

  • Seats in business and first class cabins on long-haul flights particularly popular
  • 1.6 million people from the Stansted catchment area currently travel to New York each year from other UK airports, while over 400,000 annual travellers from the London Stansted catchment area fly to Hong Kong and more than 370,000 fly to Singapore

The report was presented to the aviation industry by a team from London Stansted at the leading World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia. Entitled ‘Gateway to Growth’, it outlines destinations that the airport is targeting for long-haul growth in the coming years. Analysis of passenger data shows that a large number of global cities, currently unserved by Stansted, are already in high demand by passengers across its catchment area. These include:

  •     Beijing
  •     Boston
  •     Delhi
  •     Hong Kong
  •     New York
  •     Mumbai
  •     Shanghai
  •     Singapore
  •     Tokyo
  •     Washington

The demand is particularly strong for business and first-class travellers within the region who want to access these top long-haul destinations. Well over half (56%) of all UK searches for business and first-class flights to these locations originated from within the London Stansted catchment area, according to Skyscanner data. An impressive 61.2% of all UK searches for Business and First-class flight tickets to New York originated from the London Stansted catchment area, with Mumbai (59.6%) and Tokyo (58.5%) following closely behind.

As the only London airport with significant available runway capacity, London Stansted is set to deliver up to half of the total expected growth in passengers in the London aviation system over the next decade.

The report highlights the large number of passengers from within the London Stansted catchment area who have to fly from other UK airports to access key long-haul destinations. The 2018 Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) survey shows that 1.6 million people from the London Stansted catchment area currently travel to New York each year from other UK airports, while over 400,000 annual travellers from the London Stansted catchment area fly to Hong Kong and more than 370,000 fly to Singapore.

Until Stansted begins to service these popular destinations, passengers in the region are having to spend time and money on travelling to airports further away, while the region itself does not enjoy the significant economic and social benefits which come from strong long-haul connections.

The number of business travellers residing in the London Stansted catchment, using other UK airports to access key destinations is similarly striking. Close to half a million business travellers (491,215) flying to New York from UK airports are based in the London Stansted catchment area, according to CAA data, while a sizeable volume of annual business travel demand for major global destinations including Boston (99,941), Hong Kong (94,559) and Washington (94,556) comes from the London Stansted catchment area and leaks to other UK airports.

Aboudy Nasser, Commercial Director, London Stansted Airport commented: “People from across the region, and businesses in particular, regularly tell us they want London Stansted to offer a network of long-haul routes that will connect them to their key countries, customers and markets.

“London Stansted sits at the heart of one of the UK’s fastest growing and most successful economic regions, reflecting the competitiveness and ambition of the businesses trading here. We need to demonstrate this strength of demand to airlines who are not currently serving London Stansted.

“Over the next decade, runway capacity in the south-east will be at a premium and London Stansted will be responsible for delivering up to 50 per cent of London’s expected passenger growth and make a greater contribution to improving the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world. We have ambitious plans to serve 43 million annual passengers by 2030, and it’s imperative we continue to develop our route network by unlocking our spare runway capacity and providing the best service and facilities, so airlines and passengers can easily and conveniently access the world from London Stansted.”

The full Gateway to Growth report can be downloaded here

To read more information, click here.

London Stansted is London's third-busiest airport, currently serving around 22 million passengers a year. The airport is ideally located in between the global tech and life science hubs of London and Cambridge.

Stansted Airport