Air passenger numbers due to increase in 2015, say UK airport sector
The UK airport sector believes that passenger growth will continue over the course of 2015.
With the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently reporting that passenger numbers in 2014 were up 4.4% to 238 million, compared to 228 million in 2013, a new Airport Operators Association (AOA) survey responded to by its members has revealed optimism that this trend will continue into 2015. The survey found:
- 57% of AOA members are ‘confident’ that growth will be stronger in 2015 than 2014;
- 42% believe growth in 2015 will ‘more or less match’ 2014;
- 0% believe there will be no growth in 2015; and
- 1% believe passenger numbers will decline in 2015.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said:
“Airports are a vital part of the UK’s national infrastructure, and play a crucial role in supporting a whole range of activities, such as tourism, manufacturing and exports. It is therefore extremely encouraging that passenger numbers are heading in the right direction and that our members believe this trend will continue over the next 12 months.
“Passenger numbers are now almost at the level that we saw before the recession. This is testament to the hard work of UK airports and the investment they have made in recent years to their terminals and facilities, and to their success in working with airline partners to attract exciting new routes to, from, and within the UK. With two reductions in Air Passenger Duty (APD) due to kick-in this month and next, for long-haul flying and for families travelling with children, we are hopeful that 2015 will be a record-breaking year for our members, and that we can inch ahead of the 240m passenger mark that we saw in 2007.
“Obviously the industry still faces a number of challenges and we should not become complacent. We still need to see the overall rate of APD come down, a quick decision to be made on the Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission Final Report when it is delivered in the summer, and for the Government to do more to make better use of existing capacity, and a recognition from policy-makers that our sector can grow sustainably without increasing carbon and noise. However, it is clear that things are moving in the right direction and this can only be a good thing for UK plc, its connectivity, and for our future economic prospects.”