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Airport expects ‘busiest ever festive getaway’

PUBLISHED: 11:46 11 December 2018

Passengers at the terminal concourse at Stansted Airport  Picture: LUCY MARTIN

Passengers at the terminal concourse at Stansted Airport Picture: LUCY MARTIN

Lucy Martin/Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport is bracing itself for what is expected to be its busiest ever festive season.

Passengers in the departure lounge at Stansted Airport  Picture: LUCY MARTINPassengers in the departure lounge at Stansted Airport Picture: LUCY MARTIN

The site, which enjoyed a record-breaking November as nearly 2m passengers took to the skies - up 8.7% on 2017 - expects to see nearly 1.2m passengers over Christmas.

The busiest overall day during the festive period is forecast to be December 30, when around 86,000 passengers will pass through the airport. The 12-month moving total now stands at over 27.8m, a rise of 7.3% on the previous year.

Chief executive Ken O’Toole, said it was a “strong performance”. “The growth trend will continue over the coming weeks as we prepare for our busiest ever festive getaway when we expect to welcome nearly 1.2m passengers to the airport between December 21 and January 6.”

November saw 158,000 more passengers use Stansted than in the same month last year, with load factors – the average number of seats occupied on each flight – reaching 87%, the second highest ever total for November after 2016.

Stansted Airport chief executive Ken O'Toole  Picture: LUCY MARTINStansted Airport chief executive Ken O'Toole Picture: LUCY MARTIN

The countries recording the strongest growth in November were Austria, Turkey, Portugal and France while domestic routes including Edinburgh and Belfast also reported significant increases in passenger numbers.

Chief executive Ken O’Toole, said: “The first full month of the winter flight schedules and high airline load factors produced another strong performance in terms of passenger growth at London Stansted, and the busiest November for the airport on record.

“To ensure all our passengers enjoy a stress-free start to their holidays we will have additional staff on hand in the terminal supporting colleagues working around the clock over the festive period to provide the best possible service and airport experience,” said Mr O’Toole.

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