Revealed! New route opportunities at UK airports from routes dropped in past year

1930s style recession it certainly ain’t.

1930s style recession it certainly ain’t: All things considered – including routes dropped, routes started etc – UK airport traffic growth is still just under 1%.

While anna.aero loves to celebrate and report on the launch of new airline services, we know from our readers that our analysis of routes that airlines have chosen to drop, is also much appreciated. This week, we take a look at UK airports and analyse which destinations that were served last August, with at least three weekly flights, are no longer served this August. This is not the same as looking at which routes airlines have dropped, as we are only interested in an airport-pair if no carrier is serving the route this summer. Where an airport has lost a destination, we have looked to see which carrier operated the route last summer, and identified when it ceased to operate.

London’s airports lose 21 routes individually, 8 when combined

21 routes have been lost from five of London’s main airports (we presume London Southend will be happy not to be included in this particular analysis). This is NOT the same as how many routes have been lost from all of London’s airports if we treated all London airports as a single entity. However, if we were to treat all of London’s airports as a single airport system, then the number of routes lost falls to eight; Ankara, Dresden, Galway, Harare, Lübeck, Münster/Osnabrück, Paderborn and Prestwick (Glasgow).

London’s five main airports have all lost at least one destination since last summer, with Stansted losing the most destinations from its network. The Essex airport, which handled 18 million passengers in 2011, has seen airberlin axe two of its three destinations, Ryanair drop two routes, easyJet one, and bmibaby disappear as it gradually winds down its operations following the sale of its parent company to IAG. AirAsia X moved its flights to Gatwick (before closing the route completely) while there are no longer non-stop flights to Turkey’s capital, Ankara.

Airport Route Airline Notes
London Heathrow Dresden
Malé
Seville
Lufthansa
Sri Lankan
Vueling
Ended 24 March 2012
Ended 24 March 2012
Ended 8 January 2012
London Gatwick Atlanta
Billund
Cagliari
Harare
Istanbul SAW
Ljubljana
Rome Ciampino
Delta
Cimber Sterling
British Airways
Air Zimbabwe
easyJet
Adria Airways
Ryanair
Ended 17 April 2012 (focus on Heathrow)
Ended 24 March 2012
Ended 27 October 2011
Ended 27 February 2012
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 31 October 2011 (moved to Luton S12)
Ended 29 October 2011
London Stansted Ankara
Belfast City
Glasgow Prestwick
Kuala Lumpur
Lübeck
Madeira
Munster/Osnabruck
Paderborn
Turkish Airlines
bmibaby
Ryanair
AirAsia X
Ryanair
easyJet
airberlin
airberlin
Ended 25 April 2012
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 26 October 2011 (moved to LGW W11)
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 1 November 2011
Ended 31 October 2011
Ended 31 October 2011
London Luton Dubrovnik
Galway
Wizz Air
Aer Arann
Ended 10 September 2011
Ended 28 October 2011
London City Copenhagen British Airways Ended 25 May 2012
Source: OAG Schedules iNet for August 2011 and August 2012

Gatwick has also lost destinations as a result of Delta’s shift of all Atlanta flights to Heathrow, the demise of Danish carrier Cimber Sterling, Adria Airways’ decision to shift flights to Luton, and other route adjustments by British Airways, easyJet, and Ryanair.

Heathrow has seen relatively little change. The Dresden route was launched by Lufthansa in April 2010 and was initially operated with a bmi A319. This was then downgauged in summer 2011 to a Eurowings CRJ900. Vueling has used the slots from its dropped Seville service to increase service to Bilbao. Similarly, SriLankan has increased the number of weekly non-stop flights to Colombo from nine to 12 by dropping the flights that stopped off at Male in the Maldives.

Regional/Dom flights show duty impact

Regional airports in the UK, while also welcoming a range of new routes, have also seen the termination of services to a variety of destinations. The increase in the Air Passenger Duty seems to have hit domestic markets in particular. The gradual winding down of bmibaby services has also had a significant impact at East Midlands Airport, while Ryanair has done some pruning to its Liverpool network as it builds its presence at nearby Manchester. Aer Arann has dropped a number of Irish routes as it focuses on becoming a feeder airline for Aer Lingus in Dublin, while Eastern Airways and Flybe have both elected to cut a number of (presumably unprofitable) domestic routes.

Airport Route Airline Notes (date of last flown service)
Aberdeen Bristol Eastern Airways Ended 29 September 2011
Anglesey Isle Of Man Manx2 Ended 2 September 2011
Belfast City Bristol
Doncaster/Sheffield
Liverpool
London Stansted
Manston
Flybe
Flybe
Flybe
bmibaby
Flybe
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 30 October 2011
Ended 6 November 2011
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 27 October 2011
Birmingham Bordeaux
Gothenburg
Toulouse
Flybe
City Airline
Flybe
Ended 19 September 2011
Ended 1 May 2012
Ended 17 September 2011
Bristol Aberdeen
Belfast City
Newquay
Eastern Airways
Flybe
Eastern Airways
Ended 29 September 2011
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 30 September 2011
Cardiff Zurich Helvetic Ended 2 December 2011
City of Derry Manchester Flybe Ended 25 September 2011
Doncaster/Sheffield Belfast City Flybe Ended 30 October 2011
East Midlands Amsterdam
Edinburgh
Girona
Glasgow
Nantes
Nice
Paris CDG
Seville
Tallinn
bmibaby
bmibaby
Ryanair
bmibaby
Ryanair
bmibaby
bmibaby
Ryanair
Ryanair
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 10 June 2012 (Flybe starts 10 September)
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 10 June 2012 (Flybe starts 10 September)
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 10 June 2012
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 28 October 2011
Edinburgh Berlin SXF
East Midlands
Galway
Manston
Tallinn
Ryanair
bmibaby
Aer Arann
Flybe
Ryanair
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 10 June 2012 (Flybe starts 10 September)
Ended 31 October 2011
Ended 23 March 2012
Ended 29 October 2011
Glasgow East Midlands
Shannon
bmibaby
Aer Arann
Ended 10 June 2012 (Flybe starts 10 September)
Ended 29 October 2011
Glasgow Prestwick Girona
London Stansted
Ryanair
Ryanair
Ended 29 October 2011
Ended 29 October 2011
Isle of Man Southampton
Anglesey
Flybe
Manx2
Ended 27 February 2012
Ended 2 September 2011
Liverpool Belfast City
Girona
Milan Bergamo
Rome Ciampino
Flybe
Ryanair
Ryanair
Ryanair
Ended 6 November 2011
Ended 28 October 2011
Ended 23 March 2012
Ended 24 March 2012
Manchester Basel
Bergerac
City of Derry
Galway
Kerry
Paderborn
Perpignan
bmi/Swiss
Flybe
Flybe
Aer Arann
Aer Arann
airberlin
bmibaby
Ended 20 May 2012
Ended 10 September 2011
Ended 25 September 2011
Ended 31 October 2011
Ended 6 November 2011
Ended 28 October 2011
Ended 11 September 2011
Manston Belfast City
Edinburgh
Flybe
Flybe
Ended 27 October 2011
Ended 23 March 2012
Newcastle Oslo Rygge Ryanair Ended 8 January 2012
Newquay Bristol
Cork
Eastern Airways
Eastern Airways
Ended 30 September 2011
Ended 29 September 2011
Southampton Dijon
Isle Of Man
Eastern Airways
Flybe
Ended 28 October 2011
Ended 27 February 2012
Source: OAG Schedules iNet for August 2011 and August 2012

Under current economic conditions in the UK and the rest of Europe, it seems likely that there will be further route casualties in the year ahead. However, it should be noted that according to UK CAA data in the first five months of 2012 total passenger numbers at UK airports are just under 1% up on the same period in 2011, although most of this is accounted for by the extra day in February, meaning that traffic levels across all UK airports this year are basically the same as last year – hardly a “1930s-style recession”. To see how individual airports in the UK are performing, check out our regularly updated database of traffic and trend information for over 300 airports across Europe.


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Comments

  1. Fly Cardiff says:

    Helvetic has not ceased flying from Cardiff ?? The route does now touch down at Bristol on both the inbound and outbound journey’s, but the route is very much alive and kicking.

    That said the Welsh traveling public are campaigning for more flights to European City and tourists destinations along with International flights to the US, Middle East and Canada, the later was a very successful route for a number of years – Toronto & Vancouver, before the last airline operating the route went through. Today, the Welsh Government’s Airport Task Force held its first meeting and there is a renewed call to airlines to consider Wales and CWL – there is a enthusiastic market ready and waiting for any new routes that are offered.

  2. Simon says:

    Eastern still fly Aberdeen-Bristol as a one stop same plane service via Leeds Bradford

    Manx 2’s Angeelsey-Isle of Man is a Summer seasonal service which is operating again this Summer

  3. Alex says:

    EasyJet also stopped flying from Stansted to Fuerteventura in March 2012 and Faro in April 2012. Strangely they are still on EasyJet’s route map but no flights have been or are avaialble as of the dates mentioned!

  4. Martin Adams says:

    It looks as if Ryanair are dropping Stansted to Lourdes this Autumn.

Comments are closed