London City Airport expects pent-up passenger demand to fuel a strong recovery in 2022.
More than three-quarters of 2019 routes are expected to be operating from the airport in 2022.
The prediction follows the announcement of a busy summer schedule for British Airways, the airport’s biggest carrier, and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The airport saw a footfall of 714,000 passengers in 2021, down 21% compared to 2020 and 86% in 2019. However, in the first six months of the year, the airport handled only 75,184 passengers.
Flights to Milan, one of the airport’s top-performing routes which carried 275,000 passengers in 2019, will be reinstated this year.
Barcelona will return to the London City network for the first time in almost a decade, while new routes such as Thessaloniki join destinations such as Split, Mykonos and Faro.
London City Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said investing in the airport’s relationships with airlines will facilitate the predicted “strong bounce back”.
“2021 was certainly tough for everyone,” he added. “However, despite predictions from some to the contrary, we did see the emergence of positive business travel trends, which we believe will continue in 2022 and will be so critical for the economic recovery of London and the UK more widely.”