Today, 15th March 2021, Stansted Airport celebrated thirty years since it opened its new terminal in 1991, and continues to maintain its status as London’s Third Airport (behind Gatwick & Heathrow). Indeed, it has turned from a World War II American base to a major hub for many Low Cost Carriers, such as Ryanair and EasyJet.
The new terminal came at a cost of £400 million, and prior to Covid-19 had handled on average 28 million passengers a year. That sunk to just over 7.5 million in 2020. This is comparable to the level of eight million passengers that the terminal attracted back in 1994, which clearly illustrates the extent of the decline in passenger traffic within the past 12 months.
Stansted Airport’s Customer Service & Security Director, Jon Fowler, was downbeat on the current state of affairs in passenger traffic. He said, “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for us here at Stansted. I mean on our busy days will be welcoming 100,000 people through the airport, and we are running at less than 5% of that”.
Stansted To Current ‘Standstill’
In 2019, Stansted Airport was lobbying to increase its passenger cap from 35 million to 43 million, compared to now, when they are contemplating temporary closures of its Airport Operations to save on costs.
Furthermore, there are pleas for the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce to ensure that a clear and transparent plan is implemented for the reopening of international air travel by May.
Stansted Airpot’s Managing Director, Steve Griffith, said, “We can’t wait to welcome back our passengers to begin the next 30 years of Stansted’s story, we are confident the airport has a very bright and successful future once people are able to start planning for their well-deserved summer getaways”.
Expansion has been commonplace for Stansted Airport over the past three decades and the hope is that they along with their partner air carriers, can continue to expand its European & Long Haul Flight Network.