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London City Airport predicts strong passenger recovery in 2022

London City Airport expects pent up passenger demand to fuel a surge in growth in 2022, with the introduction of new routes and the return of top-selling destinations, resulting in more than three quarters of 2019 routes operating at the airport this year.

The prediction follows the announcement of a busy summer schedule for British Airways, the airport’s biggest customer, and the easing of Covid restrictions, which is helping to fuel a return to business and leisure travel.

Flights to Milan, one of the airport’s top performing routes, and which alone carried 275,000 passengers from the centre of London to the centre of Milan in 2019, will be reinstated this year.

Barcelona will return to the London City network for the first time in almost a decade, while new routes such as Thessaloniki join established summer favourites like Split, Mykonos and Faro.

The upturn in confidence at the airport reflects the easing of travel restrictions and the proactive role London City Airport has played to work with and support its airline partners as the industry looks to bounce back from the worst of the pandemic.

Business traffic will be further strengthened in 2022 with British Airways moving the majority of its Luxembourg traffic to London City Airport, to complement the five daily flights soon to be offered by Luxair.

The impact of Covid-19 can be seen in the airport’s 2021 results. 714,000 passengers used London City, down 21% on 2020 and 86% on 2019. However, in the first six months of the year, when extensive global travel restrictions were in place, the airport handled only 75,184 passengers. In the last six months, as restrictions were eased, 638,785 passengers used the airport and very strong month on month growth was achieved.

Business travel returned strongly on all domestic routes in 2021, with Edinburgh the best performer. Internationally, Amsterdam was the airport’s busiest route, with KLM growing to four rotations per day in the autumn, with high passenger load factors. Other key business routes have included Zurich and Geneva, operated by SWISS and Frankfurt, operated by Lufthansa.

In October and November last year, business travel accounted for over 46% of all London City Airport journeys, which was the total year average in 2019. Between late September and late November, over 30,000 passengers used the airport each week, peaking at 37,000 in late October.

The announcement of additional testing and self-isolation requirements by Government to combat the Omicron variant saw passenger demand fall by 40% in December.

Commenting on the year ahead and on the 2021 passenger figures, airport CEO Robert Sinclair said:

At the start of the pandemic we made a conscious decision to work with and support our airlines, as we recognised they were facing the same challenges as we were. Investing in these relationships in the hard times has facilitated what we believe will be a strong bounce back starting with a really exciting summer schedule from London City.

2021 was certainly tough for everyone. However, despite predictions from some to the contrary, we did see the emergence of positive business travel trends, which we believe will continue in 2022 and will be so critical for the economic recovery of London and the UK more widely.

I am optimistic that the restrictions that remain today, particularly for vaccinated passengers, will be eased and in time, removed altogether so we can return to the simple and affordable ways of flying before the pandemic.

London City will be a huge asset for London in the years ahead and we look forward to welcoming more passengers and building relationships with new airlines so we can connect the capital to more destinations and opportunities across the world.

Airtrain now serves Geneva

You can now fly on the train from Geneva railway station to Zurich Airport, thanks to SWISS.

SWISS has added the route from Geneva Cornavin to Zurich Airport to its Airtrain rail services which it offers in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Railways.

Zurich Airport. Passengers arriving at Zurich can now take the Airtrain service direct to Geneva Cornavin

The new services help keep western Switzerland connected to SWISS’s Zurich Airport hub despite the timetable changes the airline had to make in response to the coronavirus crisis. By extending the Airtrain network to Geneva, SWISS is offering its customers more options for seamlessly combining multiple modes of transport.

The new Airtrain service is intended to supplement the existing air services between Geneva and Zurich airports, to continue to give the people of Western Switzerland the best possible connections with the intercontinental and European air services that SWISS operates from Zurich.

Under the new Airtrain service, selected SBB trains between Geneva Cornavin and Zurich Airport will be assigned SWISS flight numbers. Travel on these trains to Zurich Airport is included in the flight ticket. The new facility also extends to any SWISS travellers commencing their rail journey from Geneva Airport (Cointrin) station. The new Airtrain programme is the third of its kind: similar services are already offered to SWISS customers on the routes from Basel and Lugano to Zurich Airport.

SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr said:

Keeping western Switzerland closely connected with our global Zurich-based flight network is extremely important to us. In extending these Airtrain services to Geneva, we are offering our customers even more choice in planning their travels with SWISS. We’re also responding to a growing demand among our guests for greater combinability of their air and rail travel options.

Vincent Ducrot, CEO SBB,

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) CEO Vincent Ducrot said:

The new Geneva-Zurich Airtrain connects the Romandie with German-speaking Switzerland and the train with the plane. And as a public transport company, that is something we are pleased and proud to do.

If you need to fly to Switzerland, or need further advice about travelling to or through Zurich Airport or by train in Switzerland, contact your GTM Account Manager.

New International Routes For Cambridge Airport.

Swiss regional carrier, Darwin Airline, is set to start four new services from Cambridge Airport this September.

The airline will operate fifty flights a week, starting 2nd September, to Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan & Paris.

Darwin Airline offers economy and Premium Economy cabins on board their aircraft, plus online check in and in-flight catering.