The Airline industry in the UK - Statistics & Facts

The airline industry in the United Kingdom is comprised of a large multitude of airlines. Varying from low-cost carrier models to international airline groups, the airline industry in the United Kingdom is among the most active airline industries in the world.


The largest airline in the United Kingdom is considered to be British Airways Plc. It was founded in March 1974. The main hub of British Airways Plc is Heathrow Airport in London. In 2016, British Airways’ worldwide revenue amounted to more than 11 billion euros. That year the airline transported more than 42 million passengers across the world.

EasyJet Airline Company Ltd., the most successful low-cost carrier in the United Kingdom and the biggest airline in terms of the number of passengers, transported more than 63 million passengers in the same year. The airline was founded in March 1995 and is based at Luton Airport in London.

With more than 127 million passengers in 2014, the EU 28 countries were the most common destinations for flights from the United Kingdom. North America followed as the next most popular destination for passengers from the United Kingdom, with more than 21 million passengers flying there in 2014. Less than one million passengers travelled to Australia and New Zealand from UK airports.

In 2015 airlines in the United Kingdom handled 2.2 million tonnes of international freight and 49,000 tonnes of domestic air freight. Of the air freight, approximately 1.5 million tonnes of freight were handled at London Heathrow, followed by 292,000 tonnes handled at East Midlands Airport.

The London-based airports Heathrow and Gatwick were the airports most frequented by passengers in 2016, with almost 76 million passengers utilizing Heathrow airport and roughly 43 million passengers going through Gatwick airport. During the same year, only 4.8 million passengers were traveling from the airport of Newcastle.

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