Air transportation in the UK - Statistics & Facts

In the past sixteen years, the number of people employed by airline companies registered in the United Kingdom (UK) has seen significant decline. Although figures had been slowly increasing again following severe cuts during the recession, numbers in 2018 were still noticeably smaller than in 2002. Between 2015 and 2018, cabin attendants were the most numerous out of all personnel. Overall, the civil aviation industry in the UK had been responsible for 1.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, with figures having declined only slightly since 2009.

The majority of passenger flow at UK airports could be attributed to flights from and to Spain and the Canary Islands, making up 17.4 percent of all movement in 2018. That same year, EasyJet had the most passengers out of all UK-based airlines, with more than 51.8 million people transported. British Airways followed with nearly 44.5 million customers.

However, in terms of kilometers flown, British Airways edged ahead of EasyJet by roughly 354 million kilometers. This was unsurprising seeing as EasyJet was focused mainly on flights within Europe, with additional routes offered to Morocco, Egypt and Israel. In general, the distance flown by UK airlines on international flights has been growing, suggesting that there were more flights offered for longer distances. At the same time, domestic flight distance traveled was decreasing, which may be attributed to people using other modes of transport for traveling within the country.

Heathrow was by far the largest airport in terms of passenger numbers, accounting for 27.2 percent of all movement, although its share had been declining in recent years with Luton Airport recording the greatest increase since 2010. Travelers at Heathrow were more likely to transfer to a different flight than at any other UK airport, while 65 percent terminated there.

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Air transportation in the United Kingdom

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