New York tops the destination board for flights out of London

Departure sign IR Stone shutterstock_180866810-2

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

See Also

Heathrow gets the nod to expand, but it’s already Europe’s noisiest airport

Heathrow decision soon but survey says most unconcerned by aircraft noise

London ranked as top global city destination

 

 

Americans back on top as London’s biggest visitors

River Tower Br ShardAmericans were London’s leading overseas visitors last year after 8 years of being outnumbered by the French.

The surge from the States helped make 2015 another record-breaking year for the capital as, predicted by Urbs.  Data from Visit Britain shows that the capital welcomed 18.5 million people from around the world for leisure, education, business and family visits.

2.1 million of those visitors, or 11.5%, came from America, narrowly beating the French, although visitor numbers from France were also slightly up on 2014. Polish visitors pushed into the top 10 for the first time in 2015.

tourist data graph .001-2

As well as being the largest group, Americans also spent the most. Of the £11.9 billion the city generated from tourism, nearly a tenth came from American wallets alone last year.

London’s highest spending European visitors were French, with a total spend of £762 million. But on an individual basis the big spenders are from the Gulf countries of the Middle East. While the average London visitor spent £640, those from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia spent nearly five times that amount.

The ease of a hop across the Channel or a trip through the Tunnel means the French still account for more of London’s short-stayers than anyone else. 1.2 million French people came to the city for ‘le weekend’ and a trip lasting one to three nights.

The longest stayers came from Australia – 1.57 million of them stuck around for at least two weeks following presumably long-haul journeys for most of them. Despite the Australian’s extended time here, they trail other countries closer to home on tourist numbers and expenditure, including Germany, Italy and Spain.

As home to most of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions, it is no surprise that London’s main draw for visitors continues to be as a holiday destination. Half of those who came to the city from abroad did so for leisure. Internationally, London also remains a popular destination to do business, with 20% of those coming here on work commitments.

Irish and Polish family networks around London also seem to have grown in strength in the past year. Not only did their visitor numbers increase by almost one third and one fifth respectively, but as many as 39% of Irish and Polish visitors were in the capital to see family and relatives.

Source data

See also

Good news for tourists and Londoners as city dominates for visitor attractions

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

How London’s choice of nightlife compares to other cities

Visitor numbers and spending for 2015 on track for record-breaking year

London Eye pod-22015 is shaping up to be a very strong year for tourism in London. The latest data from Visit Britain shows a record number of visitors for the first six months of the year and record levels of spending.

There were 17.7 million visitors in the 12 months to the end of June, the highest ever total for a 12-month period. But visitors are not staying as long. The number of nights per visit has fallen to an average of 5.3, down from 6.2 per visit in 2014.

The French continue to be the most frequent visitors, as they have been since 2008. In the first 6 months of 2015 there were 1.1 million visitors from France. At that rate the figure of just over 2 million for 2104 will be surpassed.

January to June 2015 also saw 950,000 visitors from the USA and significant numbers from Germany, Spain and Italy.

Overseas visitor country-2

The French may be more frequent visitors, but the Americans stay longer. They clocked up more than 5 million overnight stays or 5.5 per visitor in the first 6 months of 2015. The average stay for French visitors is 3.7 nights.

Staying longer also means spending more. While visitors from France spend £371, those from the USA spend £827. Overseas visitors contribute four fifths of all tourist spending in London. In 2014 the capital raked in £11.8 billion.

Overseas visitor spend-2

Visit Britain gathers the data on visitor numbers from the International Passenger Survey, which is based on thousands of face-to face interviews.

Source data

See also

London ranked as top global city destination

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

Good news for tourists and Londoners as city dominates for visitor attractions

Mapping Londoners: Born in the USA

Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about it and 64,000 Londoners can join in as they were Born in the USA. American-born Londoners tend to live centrally with about 70% of their number living in Inner London.

The largest groups are in Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Westminster, where they make up the largest group by birth who were not born in England. Data from the most recent census show that although they constitute less than 1% of the population of London as a whole they are 5% of the people in Kensington and Chelsea.

Born in USA

Source data

 

More population maps