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London STN recovered well in 2023; three airlines had 92% of seats; 190+ destinations

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London STN is the UK’s fourth busiest airport. Data collected by Air Service One shows that it ended 2023 with almost 28 million passengers. While it was 0.6% below 2019, it was far more recovered than the UK generally (-8.4%) and all other London-area airports.

STN continues to see many developments. On 15 December 2023, it welcomed the return of Lufthansa from Munich, two days after SkyAlps started flying from Bolzano. In 2024, it will see the arrival of Royal Jordanian and Southwind. They will build on the return of BA CityFlyer, Aurigny and Corendon, and the considerable expansion of SunExpress.

London STN airlines market share 2010-2023

Ryanair, Jet2, and easyJet had 92% of seats last year

Examining Cirium schedules data shows that Ryanair had 80% of STN’s seats in 2023. It had 166 routes, including seven new. The ULCC’s capacity share was 12 percentage points higher than in 2010. It benefited from its own considerable growth at the airport – capacity rose by about 60% in these 13 years.

It also benefited from the significant reduction of easyJet, which in 2010 had about 2.5 million seats, 30 routes and 21% of seats. STN was its fourth most-served airport. Motivated by the pandemic, the LCC closed its STN base in 2020. However, it continues to serve the airport with non-based aircraft and had six routes last year. They included the start of Zurich on 16 December (up to 2-weekly).

Top 7 London STN airlines 2023

Jet2 arrived in 2017 and is the second-largest carrier

Ryanair’s dominance was somewhat counterbalanced by the 2017 arrival of Jet2, its first venture in southern England. It is now STN’s second-largest operator. It had 8% of seats in 2023, double the proportion of easyJet, on a 51-strong network.

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Destinations added last year included Athens (2-weekly) and Rome FCO (4-weekly), both on 30 March, along with Vienna (2-weekly) on 23 November and Prague (2-weekly) on 30 November. STN was its third most-served airport. Jet2 had about the same share of STN capacity as all ‘other’ airlines combined, including Emirates (2-daily).

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190+ destinations; Dublin was first

STN had non-stop flights to 190+ destinations in 2023. Never-served-before destinations included Ouarzazate (2-weekly), introduced by Ryanair on 28 March. Others, like Poprad and Osijek, both 2-weekly by Ryanair, returned after many years. In 2024, brand-new destinations include Sarajevo (2-weekly), to be launched by Ryanair on 2 April.

Dublin was the most served destination. The Irish capital is one of five destinations in the Republic of Ireland served from STN, all by Ryanair. Across all the year, the ULCC had an average of 8-daily STN-Dublin flights. It was the ULCC’s leading route networkwide.

Notice the enormous growth of Istanbul SAW, which was nearly number one. In the peak month of July, Pegasus and Anadolujet had 49-weekly flights. The pair not only target local demand, but also passengers connecting to a myriad of destinations, inside and outside Turkey, via SAW.

Top 10 London STN destinations 2023

Geneva Airport Spring 2024