The UK Civil Aviation Authority has published aviation statistics for the second quarter of 2021. Overall, 6.3 million passengers flew in and out of the UK between April and June this year (compared to 3.4 million in quarter one 2021), across 124,000 flights (81,000 flights in quarter one 2021). This represents a 92% fall in passenger numbers compared to the same period in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest quarter saw several updates to Government travel guidance. International leisure travel started to reopen from 17 May 2021 with the 'traffic light' system introduced.
Overall levels of cargo transport were down 9% compared to the same period in 2019, with 605,436 tonnes of cargo carried. However, cargo-only flights saw a 114% increase in goods transported, with 444,643 tonnes carried.
The average flight delay also improved, with an average wait of six minutes per flight (down from nine minutes in quarter one 2021) and 89.2% of flights departing on time.
We are beginning to see an increase in international leisure travel, particularly across Portugal and Spain, as the travel sector looks to safely recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Following the steady relaxation of isolation rules for a variety of destinations, including those for double vaccinated UK citizens, we expect further recovery of the number of flights and passengers in quarter three 2021.