London Southend Airport saw a 57.1% increase in its passenger numbers from 2012 to 2013 – the largest growth of any European airport. The survey of over 300 airports across Europe was compiled by the website Airline Network News & Analysis (anna aero).
The figures show London Southend had 617,556 passengers in 2012 and 969,950 in 2013, giving it the largest percentage increase. In second place was Diyarbakir in Turkey with a 38.7% increase. After London Southend, the next best performing London airport in the survey was London City in 46th place with a 12% increase.
Ralph Anker, Chief Analyst at anna.aero, said: “London Southend’s impressive growth in 2013 demonstrates what can happen when additional capacity is made available in a constrained market. London remains an attractive destination for visitors, and there is a huge population within London Southend’s catchment area that appreciates the growing range of destinations the airport is able to offer to its customers.”
The news came in the week that the £10 million extension to the London Southend Airport terminal was completed and became fully operational.
The terminal building has become 90 metres longer. A new Arrivals area has enhanced baggage reclaim facilities and additional space for immigration as well as a dedicated domestic arrivals route. The amount of space for passengers in the security area has increased, as well the number of check in desks / baggage drop off points – there is also a new covered walkway directly connecting the train station and terminal (just 100 paces apart). The Departure Lounge has increased 4.5 times in size to enhance the experience for passengers relaxing and awaiting boarding after security.
Retail and catering facilities will also be expanded throughout the terminal over time in order to provide a much wider range of shops and services available to passengers. Five additional aircraft stands have also been completed, significantly increasing the airport’s capacity.
David Lister, London Southend Airport Operations Director, said: “This is fantastic news and perfect timing as we celebrate the completion of our terminal extension. At London Southend passengers flying out from the airport wait for a maximum of four minutes for security, while those arriving with just hand luggage can expect to travel from plane to train within 15 minutes of leaving the aircraft.
“We are convinced it is those high standards of service that are responsible for London Southend becoming so popular over the past 12 months, and why we are extending the terminal to ensure that standards are not compromised as passenger numbers grow over time. We are working closely with all our current partners – as well as speaking to potential new ones – in order to offer an even wider variety of destinations for business and leisure travellers, all year round. We hope 2014 is going to be another great year for London Southend Airport.”