UK sees March air traffic rise

UK sees March air traffic rise

10 April 2015

Leading UK air traffic control company, NATS, saw an increase in flight traffic of 4.2% in March compared to the same month last year, handling a total of 183,187 flights.

‘Domestic’ flights led the UK market growth with an increase of 7.7% compared to March 2014. This is the fifth consecutive month of growth for this sector. This rise was due, in part, to additional routes to Scotland and Northern Ireland from London City Airport.

This growth was accompanied by increases in ‘Non-transatlantic overflights’, a rise of 4.4%, and ‘Non-transatlantic arrivals/departures, which were up by 4.2%.

Bad weather conditions on the east coast of the USA in March, and a consolidation of flight schedules by the airlines for the last month of the 2014/15 winter season, meant there was a reduction in ‘Transatlantic overflights’ when compared to the same month last year.

In March, London City saw a huge surge in traffic (26.4%) because of additional capacity on routes to Scottish airports and Belfast City Airport, compared to March 2014. Stansted continued its run of strong growth with a 12.5% increase in traffic, while Belfast City Airport saw a 5.9% rise in traffic, after five months of decline.

Although there were 527 minutes of delay attributable to NATS recorded in March 2015, overall 99.99% of flights did not have any en-route delay.

While this was an increase on delays compared to the same month last year when NATS did not contribute to any delay figures, the average en-route delay per flight was low at 0.17 secs.

Martin Rolfe, Managing Director Operations, NATS, said: “We were pleased to handle the strong growth of traffic in March without it creating any noticeable delays. It’s good to see a continuous increase in movements month on month and across the majority of airports.“

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