Stansted Airport reaches pre-pandemic passenger numbers 2023

London Stansted Airport (STN) has reached pre-pandemic passenger numbers in recent months, becoming the first major airport in the United Kingdom to do so. After the challenging period brought on by COVID-19, this represents an encouraging sign for the aviation industry.

Man sitting at Airport Terminal
© Jeshoots

Stansted Airport: Travel season

London Stansted Airport has witnessed a steady increase in passenger numbers as travel restrictions have eased and vaccination rates have risen. Due to its status as a hub for low-cost carriers, travelers are eager to explore new destinations and reconnect with friends and family. The summer season, being the busiest travel season in Europe, sees a high influx of passengers at the airport. In fact, July 2023 was the third busiest month in London Stansted’s history, as reported by City A.M.

Stansted Airport had expected around 4 million passengers to pass through in the six weeks following the breaking up of schools. In July, a total of 2.81 million passengers were served, which is a 102% increase compared to July 2019. Gareth Powell, the managing director of London Stansted, provided the following comments on passenger traffic:

“This was our busiest July ever and the third busiest month on record at London Stansted. This performance reflects our position as the number one airport in the UK for direct flights to Europe, as well as the great value, convenience, and service we offer to passengers. People are choosing to fly from London Stansted in record numbers thanks to the great value and choice we offer.”

Traffic to London Stansted increased by 11% in June compared to the previous year, indicating a significant demand for travel. The Independent reported that in July, 90,322 passengers passed through the airport, up from 88,709 in 2022.

London Stansted Airport, RyanAir airplane
London Stansted Airport, RyanAir airplane © Soynanii

Stansted Airport: Positive Developments

Jonathon Fowler, Chief Operating Officer of the company, spoke about the expected summer travel boom, saying,

“This summer’s getaway is already well underway as we welcomed 2.6 million passengers in June, which represents 98% of pre-covid levels”.

Stansted Airport is the UK’s fourth-largest airport after Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), and Manchester (MAN). It serves over 160 destinations across Europe, Asia, and Africa and is part of the Manchester Airports Group.

Recently, Stansted Airport has experienced several positive developments. The airport recently applied for an expansion after a successful summer. It is estimated that the project will begin in the summer of 2024 and be completed within about three years after approval.

The low-cost carrier Ryanair dominates London Stansted, serving more than 100 destinations. Despite ongoing pilot strikes in Belgium and Italy, the airline reported its busiest month in history, carrying 18.7 million passengers across Europe in July.

In spite of the outbreak of the pandemic, London Stansted Airport has managed to achieve pre-pandemic passenger numbers. With the implementation of appropriate measures and the gradual return of travelers, the airport is paving the way for a brighter future. During the post-pandemic era, London Stansted Airport stands as a symbol of hope and progress, fueling optimism for the industry’s full recovery.

Is Stansted’s July performance up to your expectations? Have you traveled from London Stansted in July?  We’d love to hear what you think.

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Kinga Mozdzierz
Kinga Mozdzierz
Kinga Mozdzierz is a passionate music composer and writer who has shown a passion for creativity from a young age. Music and storytelling are her passions, and she combines both in her work. Additionally, Kinga loves traveling, exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. Enthusiastic about planes, she has a keen interest in aviation and the wonders of flight. Kinga's writing passion grows as she's an intern reporter for Travel Radar, contributing from every angle.