January air traffic figures show positive growth

15 February 2019

January saw 181,362 flights fly through UK airspace according to NATS, an increase of 1.6% compared to January 2018. This accounted for 23.7% of all European traffic and demonstrates the continuously increasing global demand for air travel.

The biggest growth came in the ‘Non-Transatlantic International Overflights’ sector, with an increase of 7.5% compared to last January. This is largely due to an increase in demand between Ireland and Europe, particularly on flights between Dublin and Frankfurt. ‘Transatlantic Overflights’ also saw a marked increase, up 6.3%, led by more flights between the US and Europe, notably between New York and Paris.

‘Domestic Flights’ was the only sector that declined in January compared to last year, with a 3.5% reduction in traffic.

Traffic handled by both NATS air traffic control centres grew year on year in January, with Swanwick air traffic up by 4% and Prestwick up by almost 2%.

99.99% of the 181,362 flights handled by NATS had no NATS attributable delay; 29 flights were delayed by an average of 11.6 minutes. Across all 181,362 flights handled in January, the average delay per flight was .11 seconds.

Juliet Kennedy, NATS Operations Director, said: “We’re off to a good start this year, handling an increasing number of flights with less delay compared to last January. We’re planning for another record-breaking year and our controllers are working hard to ensure they deliver the best service to our airline and airport customers, despite the increasing number of flights.”


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