London-Stansted Airport (STN) has just recorded its busiest-ever October, with record numbers of passengers passing through the airport’s single terminal.
Almost 2.6 million passengers passed through the airport during the month, surpassing the airport’s previous record, which was set back in 2018.
The airport, often referred to as “London’s third airport” (after Heathrow-LHR and Gatwick-LGW), has explained that due to the popularity of the facility’s extensive European route network, alongside the autumn half-term getaway, ensured that it saw more 28,000 more passengers in October 2023 than in October 2018. The total passenger number was also up 9.7% on the same month last year.
The three most popular countries during the month were Spain, Italy, and Germany, while the busiest routes were to Dublin, Istanbul, and Edinburgh.
Looking at the wider picture, the number of passengers using the airport in the 12 months ending October 2023 stands at 27.6 million, representing an increase of 27% over the previous year.
Operational performance during October was stable, with 96% of passengers passing through security in 15 minutes or less. The average queue time for security was just over five minutes during the busiest periods of the day.
“After a very busy and positive summer season at London Stansted, we have seen the rapid growth in passenger numbers continue into the autumn as we recorded our busiest October ever,” said the airport’s Managing Director, Gareth Powell. “We know our position as the number one UK airport for destinations to Europe, coupled with the ease and efficiency of using the airport, helps make Stansted the natural choice for so many passengers from London to Cambridge, and right across the wider eastern region.”
He added: “As has been the case all year, our extensive and unique route network continues to be extremely popular with many overseas visitors seeking convenient and great value direct access to the UK.”
In October 2023, the airport also received planning permission to extend its terminal building.
Stansted’s owners (MAG) said that the extension will transform the airport experience, improving every step of a passenger’s journey, from check-in on departure through to when they arrive at immigration.
The work will also provide capacity to accommodate forecasted passenger growth towards the airport’s approved limit.
“We also achieved a very significant milestone last month as we secured planning permission to extend our terminal building,” Powell said. “This project will help transform the airport journey while maintaining the simple, efficient, and reliable experience we know our passengers really value when they choose to fly from Stansted.”
“As we enter a new phase of growth in the years ahead and serve more passengers each year than ever before, they can be confident our plans will build on this success and make every airport journey even better in the future,” he added.