London City Airport (LCY) today outlined its plan to become the first net zero airport in London by the end of the decade.
The airport today published a new sustainability roadmap, setting out the steps it will be taking between now and 2030 to achieve its goal. These include measures to phase out gas for heating its buildings, ensuring all airport vehicles become electric, and plans to become a zero waste and zero single use plastics business.
In addition, on scope 3 emissions – indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain – London City aspires to be the most sustainably connected airport in the UK, with 80% of all journeys to and from the airport to be made by sustainable transport modes by 2030. In 2019, London City had 73% of passengers accessing the airport by public and sustainable transport, the highest percentage of any UK airport.
Recent polling commissioned by London City Airport, conducted by YouGov, found that passengers consider sustainability to be one of the top issues in aviation. Data also shows that most respondents expect the use of Sustainable Aviation fuels to become available in the UK within the next ten years. This follows the Transport Secretary pledging to work with industry to deliver the world’s first transatlantic flight fuelled purely by Sustainable Aviation fuels by the end of next year.
Similarly, most respondents anticipate that zero emission flights would be rolled out within the next 20 years. This comes ahead of an upcoming industry report, which London City is part of, that outlines how zero emission flights can be introduced across the UK’s domestic aviation market.
The roadmap outlines the significant progress that has already been made and puts sustainability at the forefront of the airport’s agenda, with a clear focus on reducing carbon emissions; enhancing the natural environment; and helping the airport’s communities grow and prosper.
As part of this, LCY aims to be one of the first airports in the UK to facilitate a zero emission flights and is working closely with industry partners, and UK Government, to understand how the airport can facilitate low to zero emission flight as technology comes on stream.
The roadmap also sets out how the airport will continue to invest in its local communities and help young people achieve their potential. LCY has plans to build an onsite skills & training centre and an ambition for all on-site partners to pay the London Living Wage by 2026.
London City Airport Chief Executive Officer, Robert Sinclair, said: “As we continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic, it is imperative that we rebuild in the right way.
“We hope all of our partners and stakeholders will welcome our ambition, not just to decarbonise, but to play a meaningful role locally, right across the ESG agenda.
“Given our size, location and the nature of our route network and operation, we are ideally placed to help shape the next phase of aviation innovation in London, establishing it as a global leader of the net zero economy, supporting innovation, research and development and creating jobs for the amazing young people of this city.”
Brussels Airport welcomed more than 1.5 million passengers during April, an increase of 527% compared to April 2021 and a decrease of 31% compared to April 2019 (before the Covid crisis). This is the highest number of passengers since the start of the crisis in March 2020. Air cargo volumes are down by 14% year-on-year, but up 22% compared to the same period in 2019.
Passenger traffic: an increase of 527%.
In April, Brussels Airport welcomed 1,568,413 passengers, the best result since the crisis began in March 2020. Nevertheless, even if progress and recovery are evident, this is still a 31% decline compared to April 2019. Compared to 2021, the airport records a 527% increase, but Belgium was facing a travel ban at the time. The Easter holidays were the main reason for this increase. The increase continued after the holidays, which bodes well for the summer season. The start of the spring holidays in the Netherlands also had a positive influence on the figures for the last week of April. On the other hand, the strike by Belgian Ryanair cabin crew had a very limited impact as only a small number of Ryanair flights operated from Brussels Airport were affected.
The share of departing transfer passengers is 13%, 4 percentage points lower than in 2019 due to a stronger recovery in originating departures and a decrease in transfers within Europe.
The top ten most visited countries from Brussels Airport in April were Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, the USA, France, the UK, Switzerland and Greece. Spain, Turkey and Greece did particularly well compared to 2019.
The top ten destinations in April were Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Lisbon, Malaga, Milan, London, Alicante, Istanbul and Geneva. Istanbul, Alicante and Malaga in particular recorded high visitor numbers.
Cargo transport: a decrease (-14%) in cargo volumes
In April, cargo transport at Brussels Airport decreased by 14% compared to April 2021. Air cargo volumes also fell by 14%. The full cargo segment declined by 30%, while belly cargo rose by 58% due to the increase in the number of passenger flights. Cargo-only passenger flights accounted for 39% of full cargo flights.
Integrator services declined by 17% due to slower growth in the Western European ecommerce market and the temporary reallocation of certain flights to other airports. In addition, trucked air cargo volumes fell by 14%.
Asia has again become the largest import and export region. Africa is the second largest import region and the third largest export region, showing growth in both segments over the last year. North America is the third largest import region and the second largest export region.
Since the start of global vaccine distribution in November 2020, Brussels Airport has transported 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccines, making Brussels Airport a preferred hub for vaccine shipments.
The number of flight movements in April 2022 increased by 152% compared to 2021, totaling to 14,838 flight movements (compared to 19,710 in 2019). The number of passenger flights has increased by 306% compared to 2021 and reaches about 70% of passenger flight movements in April 2019.The average occupancy rate per flight was 130 passengers, compared to 128 in 2019. Passenger load factors continue to rise.
As to cargo, the number of cargo flights has decreased by 16% compared to 2021.
Travellers flocked through the airport terminals in April. At 1.8 million passengers, the Easter month became the busiest month at Copenhagen Airport since the pandemic hit two years ago. However, there is still some way to go before traffic is restored to pre-pandemic levels.
Air travel is on the road to recovery, and the effect is really noticeable at Copenhagen Airport. During the month of April, which included a busy Easter week, seven out of ten passengers were back compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“It’s great to see that people have an appetite for travel again – and are in fact able to get away. It felt quite hectic during the Easter holidays with very high passenger numbers. The airport, the shops and our eateries are again drawing in lots of customers,” says Chief Commercial Officer Peter Krogsgaard of Copenhagen Airports A/S.
The number of seats filled on the aircraft tells the same story, as the load factor rose from less than 50 to 70 per cent in the first four months of the year.
Busy training new staff
The growing number of travellers in and around the Easter week also meant periods of longer waiting times at security. The main reason was a lack of staff, as it takes several months to train newcomers, and the vetting procedures imposed by various authorities are lengthy.
“A lot of travellers from Denmark and southern Sweden experienced a very busy airport during the Easter period. It was challenging for us at times, but we were able to handle it. We did our best to keep passengers informed about the risk of longer waiting times, and fortunately most of them by far made sure to be at the airport well ahead of their departure times,” explains Krogsgaard.
“We’re in full swing training our many new staff members, and very soon we’ll be fully staffed and ready for the summer season,” he says.
Traffic still well short of pre-COVID levels
Although the number of travellers at the airport has more than doubled – from 820,000 to 1.8 million – in the first four months of the year, there is still a way to go before numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels.
Just over five million passengers passed through the terminals at Copenhagen Airports (CPH) from January to April, which was 43 per cent fewer than in the same period of 2019. This means that CPH is still under financial pressure in spite of the improvements seen in recent months.
Since the crisis hit in March 2020, CPH has had to borrow more than DKK 2 billion to keep the airport running.
London firmly back as the top destination
The April traffic data shows that air travel in Europe particularly has staged a comeback. More than seven out of ten passengers are back on these destinations compared to pre-pandemic levels. Four out of ten are back on the long-haul intercontinental routes to Asia and North America.
For the third straight month, London tops the Top-10 list of destinations, and the British capital has truly regained the position as the busiest destination out of Copenhagen.
Country-wise, Spain is still the largest destination with some 300,000 travellers in and out of Copenhagen so far this year. Màlaga is seventh on the Top-10 list while Barcelona is ninth, followed by Gran Canaria, Alicante and Madrid.
“Judging by the steadily rising numbers of passengers since January, it promises to be a busy summer at CPH, and we expect European traffic to approach normal levels. Despite the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, it would seem that a lot of people are seizing the opportunity to see the world,” says Krogsgaard.