New York tops the destination board for flights out of London

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Photo: IR Stone | Shutterstock

New York is the most popular international destination for passengers flying out of London’s airports.  Combined traveller numbers to JFK and Newark airports were 4.2 million according to the latest data from the Civil Aviation Authority.  But running a close second to New York is somewhere much closer to home, the Irish capital Dublin, with 4 million people flying out of London.

The international destinations data for 2014 shows a mix of globetrotters and short-haulers, but it doesn’t make clear how many were from the UK or just routing through London as part of their onward journey.

Amsterdam and Dubai were also in the top five, both cities welcomed over 3 million London flyers. While European cities mostly dominate the list, Hong Kong and Los Angeles also take in significantly high numbers from London at 1.5m and 1.3m respectively.

City All passengers travelling from London
New York 4,207,478
Dublin 4,068,327
Amsterdam 3,611,494
Dubai 3,213,296
Madrid 2,582,799
Barcelona 2,534,636
Geneva 2,394,016
Rome 2,210,471
Paris 2,031,242
Copenhagen 1,901,898
Malaga 1,798,104
Frankfurt 1,739,429
Zurich 1,712,376
Hong Kong 1,563,714
Munich 1,527,020

The USA is the favourite destination country – 15.9 million London passengers took the long-haul flight across the Atlantic. Spain’s holiday appeal makes it London’s second country of choice, taking 12.6 million people many of them flying out of Gatwick to holiday destinations.

In total, 73 million people flew out of Heathrow airport, almost double the number from the UK’s second biggest airport, Gatwick, which had 38 million.

The most popular flights from Heathrow range greatly between long-haul to the likes of New York, Dubai and Los Angeles, and short-haul to neighbouring European countries.

City airport Passengers travelling from Heathrow
New York (JF Kennedy) 2,972,729
Dubai 2,437,889
Dublin 1,650,675
Hong Kong (Chek Lap Kok) 1,563,714
Frankfurt Main 1,506,705
Amsterdam 1,486,995
Los Angeles International 1,354,610
Madrid 1,274,707
Barcelona 1,268,729
Paris (Charles De Gaulle) 1,247,665

Gatwick’s most common destinations are a little closer to home, flying to Europe, with the exception of Dubai. The destination board is dominated by holiday traffic.

City airport Passengers travelling from Gatwick
Barcelona 1,268,729
Malaga 1,055,257
Dublin 990,236
Amsterdam 848,996
Geneva 816,778
Dubai 775,362
Alicante 768,373
Copenhagen 734,328
Tenerife (Surreina Sofia) 732,873
Madrid 718,235

The past twelve months has seen another rise in total passenger numbers with 146.3 million arriving and departing on the capital’s runways – an increase on the same period in 2014-15 of 4.7%.

A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick will increase capacity further but amid the political turmoil caused by the Brexit vote a decision on where it should be build  has been pushed back until October at the earliest, according to the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Source data: DestinationsTotal passenger numbers

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