London-Edinburgh/Glasgow traffic still in decline; British Airways, bmi and easyJet battle it out while Flybe looks on
The two busiest domestic air traffic routes in the UK are between London and Edinburgh, and London and Glasgow. London is served by a total of five airports, Glasgow two and Edinburgh just one. Analysis of demand on these city pairs since 1996 reveals that traffic levels in 2009 have fallen to around the level achieved in 2000 on both city-pairs.
London – Edinburgh traffic peaked in 2005
Passenger numbers between London and Edinburgh have fallen by almost 20% since the peak recorded in 2005. Since then, passenger numbers have fallen at all of the London airports, except London City, where demand grew by almost 40%.
A review of weekly frequencies offered by the various players during the last three years confirms an on-going reduction in the number of flights offered. British Airways continues to offer the most total flights (split across three airports) followed by easyJet (also split across three airports), bmi and Air France.
|w/c 18 Feb 08||BA 71, BD 55||BA 37, U2 27||U2 32||U2 31||AF 37, BA 44|
|w/c 2 Feb 09||BA 68, BD 54||BA 26, U2 25||U2 29||U2 25||AF 37, BA 40|
|w/c 1 Feb 10||BA 59, BD 46||BA 28, U2 26||U2 28||U2 20||AF 37, BA 36|
|Source: OAG Max Online
AF: Air France, BA: British Airways, BD: bmi, U2: easyJet
London – Glasgow traffic peaked in 2003
Over the period 1996 to 2009, the London – Glasgow market has typically been around 7% smaller than the London – Edinburgh market, though in 2001, it was (briefly) bigger. Passenger numbers between London and Glasgow have fallen by almost 25% since the peak recorded in 2003. This peak coincides with when Ryanair carried 721,000 passengers between London Stansted and Glasgow Prestwick and was operating up to 10 daily flights.
Last year, Ryanair operated just three daily flights on the route and passenger numbers were 60% below their 2003 peak at 278,000. Once again, British Airways is still the airline offering the most weekly flights (99), ahead of easyJet (77), bmi (50) and Ryanair (20).
|Heathrow||Gatwick||Stansted (GLA)||Stansted (PIK)||Luton||London City|
|w/c 18 Feb 08||BA 63, BD 52||BA 25, U2 20||U2 32||FR 28||U2 32||BA 23|
|w/c 2 Feb 09||BA 50, BD 51||BA 20, U2 19||U2 27||FR 20||U2 28||BA 25|
|w/c 1 Feb 10||BA 50, BD 50||BA 28, U2 20||U2 23||FR 20||U2 24||BA 21|
|Source: OAG Max Online
BA: British Airways, BD: bmi, FR: Ryanair, U2: easyJet
The biggest airline in the UK domestic market, Flybe, does not operate any flights on these city-pairs. Although it operates a growing number of domestic flights from London Gatwick, its only non-stop Scottish services are to Aberdeen and Inverness.