The UK Civil Aviation Authority has published aviation statistics for the third quarter of 2021. Overall, 24.8 million passengers flew in and out of the UK between July and September this year (compared to 6.4 million in the previous quarter), across 286,842 flights (126,138 flights in quarter two 2021).

This represents an almost 300% rise in passenger numbers compared to quarter two in 2021, however still represents a 72% fall in passenger numbers compared to the same period in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

Quarter three saw further changes to the travel rules. In July, it was announced that double vaccinated UK citizens would no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days when returning from amber list countries. This led to an immediate rise in passenger travel during the final few weeks of the peak summer period.

Overall cargo transported was down 10% compared to the same period in 2019, with 602,522 tonnes of cargo carried. However, cargo dedicated flights carried a 77% increase in goods.

The average flight delay decreased slightly compared to the same period in 2019, with an average wait of 8 minutes per flight (this is up from 6 minutes in quarter two 2021).

Following the steady reopening of international leisure travel and recent further relaxation of isolation rules, the outlook for international leisure travel appears positive. As a result, we expect further recovery of the number of flights and passengers in quarter four 2021.