London City Airport – Looking to the Future in 2023
Message from Robert Sinclair CEO, London City Airport
I wanted to start with a thank you to all the City AM readers that have flown through London City in 2022.
There was a short spell, if you can remember it, at the start of the year when the prospect of travelling even across London, never mind across Europe or globally, felt like a distant prospect.
However, thankfully, once the Government gave the green light to travel again, we all soon got in our groove and took to the sky.
It was especially pleasing that business travel, that some naysayers had predicted would never recover, has not only returned, but returned strongly.
On our core business routes we have seen strong load factors, consistently. This speaks to the continued importance of doing work, making deals and innovating, face to face.
And we should also remind ourselves that making business to and from London quick and easy benefits the whole economy. Whether it’s spend on hotel rooms, lunches, conferences, or cabs, making London work well benefits us all.
Research we undertook back in May with WPI Economics suggested that a strong return to business travel could benefit the London economy alone to the tune of £10 billion by the end of the decade.
This reflect that business travel isn’t a nice to do, it’s actually fundamental to London’s recovery in the short term and global status going forward.
For our part, we know we have to make flying as simple, pain free, and as sustainable as possible to continue to enjoy your custom.
That’s why, in 2023, we will be making a number of investments to deliver an award-winning airport experience.
From Easter, we will be one of the first airports in the UK to operate with a brand new, state of the art security system which will mean no more removing laptops or liquids from your carry on.
The current security requirements are cumbersome and slows everyone down, plus technology has moved on. With this new technology in place we will actually be able to process more passengers and more trays than ever before, and the whole passenger experience will be much better.
I wouldn’t mind betting that once you try it, you won’t want to fly from any airport that doesn’t have it.
We are also giving our departures area a major revamp. From next summer there will be more places to shop, more places to eat, more seats to sit in and, crucially, new toilets!
Combine all of that with the super-fast, free Wi-Fi that we offer, then the airport will be an even better place to do a meeting before your flight, or to chill out.
However, we and our airline partners know that, with more eyes than ever on ESG reporting, we need to make flying more sustainable.
Whether flying domestically or across Europe, flying is more reliable, faster, and definitely more cost competitive than other modes.
But we need to help you justify it. Over the next decade, as you will have read in these pages, London City, because of our size and route network, will be at the forefront on making zero emission flight possible.
That may sound far off, but there are things happening in the short term which will reduce the emissions profile of flying from LCY; whether it’s through being a leader when it comes to sustainable journeys to our front doors via the TfL network, increasing the percentage of Sustainable Aviation Fuel used on our flights or, as we expect to happen in the next couple of years, our airlines investing in the newest, cleanest, latest generation aircraft.
Maybe our new year’s resolution should be to shout louder about how we are decarbonising. But be assured, making progress in this journey is important to us, because it’s important to you, and indeed everyone’s future.
For now, I wish all City AM readers a very Happy Christmas and prosperous new year. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the airport in 2023 and making LCY everyone’s London airport of choice.