Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) statistics published this week show a marked improvement in on-time performance at London City Airport in the last quarter of 2008.
74 per cent of flights at London City Airport departed on time during the period of October through December 2008, an improvement of 16 percentage points over the same period in 2007.
The improvements in punctuality at London City Airport are a direct result of the additional capacity provided by four new aircraft parking stands which came into operation in May 2008.
Richard Gooding OBE, Chief Executive of London City Airport, commented on the recent results: “our shareholders’ investment in additional capacity has paid off well. We have on their behalf invested some £50 million in ensuring an enhanced passenger experience, including four new parking stands and connecting piers, an extension and refurbishment of our entire departure lounge, a new baggage handling facility and self service check-in desks across the terminal concourse. We have responded to passengers’ needs and continue to provide the best possible service for the short time passengers are with us. With the quickest surface access times to the airport and a check-in time of only 20 minutes, we continue to be the leading choice for savvy travellers.”
Despite the economic slowdown, London City Airport was the only London airport to experience a significant rise in passenger numbers in 2008, a 12 per cent increase compared with 2007. A fall of two per cent was experienced by London airports taken as a whole.
Later this year British Airways will launch its innovative new business class only service to New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. The twice-daily route will be served by two Airbus A318 aircraft, specially configured with flat bed seating to carry 32 passengers. Passengers will be able to check in just fifteen minutes prior to departure, with a short stopover in Shannon to pre-clear US immigration before proceeding straight on to JFK’s domestic terminal. The return journey will be a direct sleeper service, allowing passengers to maximise their business day in London.
British Airways also placed a firm order worth $376 million for a new fleet of Embraer E170 and E190 jets to commence operation at London City Airport later this year. This significant investment in the London City Airport market demonstrates the airline’s commitment to the airport.
In April 2009 Air Southwest will commence twice-daily commuter services to Plymouth and Newquay. Earlier in the year Irish carrier Aer Arann joined London City Airport with thrice daily service to the Isle of Man.
Richard Gooding concludes: “despite the many challenges experienced by the aviation industry this year, the continued investment into the airport by our airline partners gives us confidence in the longer term. We are seeing a number of new routes and a very significant investment being placed into our Docklands hub. With the support of our shareholders, we have continued a strong performance with core emphasis on passenger experience.”