The UK Civil Aviation Authority has published aviation statistics for the second quarter of 2022. Overall, 63 million passengers flew in and out of the UK, between April and June this year on 477,559 flights (compared to 31 million on 292,764 flights in the previous quarter). This represents a 23% fall in passengers compared to the same period in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Load factors are also nearing 2019 levels with the average load factor of 80%, down just 5 percentage points on Q2 2019.
With all Covid travel restrictions lifted at the end of March 2022 in the UK, quarter two saw strong indications of consumer confidence in air travel, with the number of passengers travelling more than double that of the previous quarter (Q1 2022) and flights seeing a 63% increase. Performance was also boosted by the Easter and May half term breaks, including the Jubilee celebrations during this period. In fact, June passengers peaked at 82% of 2019 levels in week 23 (week commencing 6th June 2022).
However, the increased passenger demand proved challenging for the industry to cope with, leading to some travel disruption including flight cancellations and delays. The average flight delay increased to 25 minutes per flight (up from 12 minutes in Q1 2022, and up from 15 minutes in Q2 2019), whilst 59% of flights were determined to have left “on-time” (down from 79% in Q1 2022). At the height of the disruption, cancellations peaked at approximately 4.7% of all flights, however the average for the quarter was 1.6%, up from 0.7% in Q2 2019. In an attempt to minimise future disruption, the industry has been revising their planned schedules to ensure that resources are available to operate their services efficiently.
Total cargo carried - by weight - transported on all services was down 12% compared to the equivalent quarter in 2019, with 588,228 tonnes of goods carried to and from the UK. Flights dedicated to only carrying cargo, continued their trend of strong performance since the beginning of the pandemic, carrying 31% more than 2019.
Notes on how statistics are generated:
How are the numbers calculated?
- Movements: total Air Transport movements at reportable UK airports.
- Passengers: total Terminal Passengers at reportable UK airports.
- Load factor: reflect the proportion of seats filled. Calculated on passenger services only.
- All Cargo: total cargo handled at reportable UK airports regardless of service description.
- Cargo only: total cargo handled at reportable UK airports on dedicated cargo-only services.
- Flights on time: the proportion of matched flights (within 15mins of schedule time) of the total flights (excluding unmatched).
- Average delay minutes: calculated from the sum of delay minutes (excluding flights that arrive early) divided by the number of flights.
- For the purpose of this summary, UK includes the Channel Island and Isle of Man airports.
- Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we continue comparing recent data to 2019 – the latest full year of normal performance – to better understand the impact of the pandemic and aviation industry’s recovery of traffic.