London City Airport targets Irish passenger growth

The chief executive of London City Airport (LCY) is targeting further in-bound passenger growth from Dublin. He wants renewed services between the airport and regional Irish bases, including Cork.
London City Airport targets Irish passenger growth

Addressing media in Dublin, yesterday, chiefly about LCY’s expansion plans, Declan Collier said passenger throughput from Dublin is growing, with 70 flights a week linking the two airports.

Dublin is the third most popular route — behind Edinburgh and Amsterdam — to London City and he said Dublin could further challenge those destinations.

Mr Collier — the former head of the DAA — said the London airport’s importance, regarding connectivity, will only increase in a post-Brexit, congested world, with additional runway services at Heathrow at least 12 to 15 years away.

Mr Collier also expressed a desire to see renewed links between regional Irish airports and LCY, but said that would require more local support and airlines being reassured that they’ll be supported long enough to survive initial losses.

CityJet was operating the only route from Cork to LCY, until it terminated the service last summer, after just eight months. It failed to make a profit. CityJet boss, Pat Byrne, said, at the time, that there had been strong local support for the route, but that there was insufficient demand to make it commercially viable.

London City Airport is set to spend £400m on expanding its facilities over the next four years, which will enable 6.5m passengers to travel through it by 2025. Much of that business will come from the Middle East and Turkey, as it looks to harness increased London-bound travel from those destinations.

The expansion will see a new digitally-controlled air traffic control tower, a new rail link with central London, a larger terminal, enhanced runway capacity and seven new aircraft stands. More airlines — including KLM — will also be added to the curent ten flying to, and from, the airport.

Business travellers account for 53% of LCY customers; down from 62% four years ago and with an equal, 50:50 split between business and leisure customer likely by year-end.

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