London Stansted’s long haul development contributes to the most successful month in MAG’s history

  • Growth comes following successful route development to Middle East and America.
  •  European destinations remain popular, with growth to Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe.
  •  9% growth at Stansted across the summer season




London Stansted

East Midlands


Rolling 12 month total





August 2018 total





August 2018

% change

year on year








London Stansted

East Midlands

August 2018 tonnes




August 2018

% change

year on year




*excludes figures for Bournemouth Airport, which was sold to RCA in December 2017.

London Stansted’s long haul routes drove the airport to its busiest ever month in August, with 2.98 million passengers travelling through the airport.

Stansted’s successful growth led MAG, the UK’s largest airport group, to grow by 3.2% year on year in its busiest month of the year, to serve 6.7m passengers in the month. The growth moves MAG within touching distance of serving a milestone 60 million passengers in a year for the first time in its history, a mark it expects to pass in September.

Internationally, the most significant contribution to this growth at Stansted was the new daily route to Dubai with Emirates, with new routes to New York and Toronto with Primera Air also adding significant numbers of passengers compared with last year.

As well as traditional summer sun locations, European city break destinations also proved popular, with Budapest, Lisbon, Warsaw and Prague all in the airport’s top 10 growth destinations in August, a month which also saw Stansted serve more than 100,000 passengers in one day for the first time in its history. Overall, non-EU passengers flying through London Stansted grew 21.9% year-on-year.

Ken O'Toole, CEO,  London Stansted Airport
As London’s fastest growing airport  we are investing £600m in transforming the airport experience for passengers and have applied for permission to raise the number of passengers we serve to 43 million a year,
Ken O'Toole, CEO, London Stansted Airport

Manchester Airport’s performance was broadly flat year-on-year (-0.6%), despite the fact that this time last year, Monarch were running a full summer programme from the airport. The airport’s successful backfilling of Monarch’s slots demonstrates the ongoing appeal of the airport to a range of international airlines and has led to very strong growth in Eastern Mediterranean and North African destinations, with 24,000 more passengers travelling to the Turkish destinations of Antalya and Dalaman alone compared with last year. Meanwhile, Cancun, Dubai and Seattle were the fastest growing long haul routes, contributing to 3.9% growth to North American destinations and 8.9% growth to long haul destinations elsewhere in the world.

East Midlands Airport also saw impressive growth to the Eastern Mediterranean area, with eight of the top ten growth destinations from the airport being in this region. The most popular destinations compared with last year were Corfu, Antalya and Dalaman, followed by Zakynthos and Dubrovnik. Overall, East Midlands’ passenger numbers were down slightly (1.2%) in August.

Cargo figures at East Midlands and London Stansted were both up in August. East Midlands grew 1.7% and London Stansted grew 3.8%, reinforcing their position as the UK’s second and third hub for exports respectively.

Ken O’Toole, CEO, London Stansted Airport said:

“Strong collaboration with our airline partners has been needed to contend with air traffic control restrictions, industrial action and extreme weather, and allow us to welcome a record number of passengers to the airport and pass the 27 million passengers a year milestone for the first time in the airport’s history.

“As London’s fastest growing airport we expect this upward trend to continue so that’s why we are investing £600m in transforming the airport experience for passengers and have applied for permission to raise the number of passengers we serve to 43 million a year, with a firm commitment to do so without any additional flights or noise impacts beyond our current permissions."