London City Airport has said its fares last summer were lower than both Heathrow and Gatwick on a route-by-route basis, as it sets itself up as a competitor to the two hub airports.
The airport favoured by businesses and bankers also said it saw a 22 per cent increase in the number of local people using it is a take-off base last year, while recent online polling carried out by YouGov found that 42 per cent of locals said they would use the airport in the future.
London City has been on a drive to appeal to leisure passengers. It recently changed its logo and has increased the number of tourist destinations in its offering, including Prague, Budapest, Vilnius and Antwerp this year.
Research carried out by Aviation Economics using Apex data found that Heathrow and Gatwick fares were more expensive last year on a route-by-route basis.
Using postcode data from the aviation regulator for 2017 and 2018, London City found that 143,000 passengers living within a three-mile radius used the airport in 2018, up from 117,000 in 2017.
London City boss Robert Sinclair said: “While the airport remains the firm favourite for business travellers across London, it’s clear from this new analysis that more and more local people are taking advantage of our extensive network of destinations, and the convenience of their home airport.”
Progress of London City’s expansion plan, which includes eight new aircraft parking stands, a parallel taxiway and an extended and reconfigured passenger terminal, is already underway.
It is currently consulting on its draft master plan for 2020 to 2035, which details how the airport plans to manage its growth.
Last week three local councils – Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets – came out in opposition to the plans. Campaigners say the expansion would lead to a doubling of the number of flights, an end to the 24-hour flight break at the weekends, and early morning and late evening flights.
The consultation closes on 18 October.