Christmas and New Year bring new passenger record for Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport is gearing up for its busiest ever Christmas and New Year holiday season, with 1.2 million passengers expected to take to the skies.
The busiest day is predicted to be Sunday December 30, when around 86,000 travellers will pass through the terminal.
The forecast follows Stansted's busiest ever November, when 1.98m passengers used the airport, up 158,000 (8.7%) on the same month in 2017.
The airport's load factors – the average number of seats occupied on each flight – were 87%, the second highest November total after 2016.
The 12-month rolling total now stands at over 27.8m, an increase of 7.3% over the previous year.
The countries recording the strongest growth during the month compared to November 2017 were Austria, Turkey, Portugal and France, while domestic routes including Edinburgh and Belfast also reported significant increases in passenger numbers.
Traffic was boosted by the recent arrival of new airlines launching new services, including Laudamotion's twice-daily flights to Austrian capital Vienna and Pobeda Airlines' four flights a week to St Petersburg in Russia.
Chief executive Ken O'Toole said: "The growth trend will continue over the coming weeks as we prepare for our busiest ever festive getaway, when we expect to welcome nearly 1.2 million passengers to the airport between December 21 and January 6."