February 3, 2017 2:44 pm
Updated: February 3, 2017 2:45 pm

London International Airport reports record-breaking traffic in 2016

The London International Airport surpassed the 500,000 annual passengers mark for the first time in 2016.

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The final numbers have been tallied, and officials are confirming 2016 was a record-setting year for the London International Airport.

Numbers released Friday show that 2016 saw a seven per cent increase in passenger traffic over 2015 with 514,685 passengers passing through the airport.

“We never hit 500,000 — half a million passengers — in a year,” airport president and CEO Mike Seabrook told AM980.

“This year we sailed past it nicely to about 515,000. We’re really happy with the results.”

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While United Airlines cut its daily flights from London to Chicago on June 30, other airlines more than made up for that loss.

“We have more seats here; the airlines have added either more service or bigger aircraft so there are more seats coming and going in our marketplace. The other thing we worked hard at and we’re proud of is we’ve really increased our effort in passenger experience at the airport; we’ve done a lot of things over the last four years to make this airport easy and convenient and economical.”

Those increases include Air Canada boosting capacity, WestJet Encore starting twice-daily flights to and from London, WestJet adding Vancouver flights to its summer schedule, and Sunwing adding flights to Jamaica in the winter.

Seabrook adds that while numbers for January aren’t in yet, it looks like 2017 is off to a good start and the airport is anticipating further growth.

“We have a lot of leakage: people driving to other airports, namely Detroit and Toronto. There’s tremendous potential for us to continue to increase service, get more people to use our airport, less to drive to those other airports. We can sustain growth for years and years and years if we can pay attention to the right formula to make that work.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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