Liverpool Airport passenger numbers in 2018 highest for seven years

A number of new routes have pushed passenger numbers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport through the 5m barrier for the first time since 2011. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool John Lennon Airport saw passengers numbers hit 5.1m in 2018


Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) handled 5.1m passengers this year – the first time it had broken through the 5m barrier in seven years.

The figure was a 3% rise on 2017 and was thanks to a number of new routes to destinations such as Bergen, Dalaman, Iasi, Palermo, Paphos, Pula, Shannon and Toulouse. LJLA now offers more than 70 routes.

In 2011 LJLA handled 5.3m passengers before seeing a fall as the effects of the recession began to bite. The airport’s best-ever year was more than a decade ago in 2007 when it handled 5.5m passengers.

Strategic plan

LJLA’s strategic plan, which it presented to business leaders in March last year, aims to grow passenger numbers to 8m by 2030, pushing up Liverpool city region GVA contribution to £625m and supporting 12,000 jobs.

Liverpool also continued to be one of the UK’s best performing airports operationally in 2018. The Punctuality League – a report published by air travel intelligence company OAG, shows that LJLA had the UK’s best on time performance record in 2018, with over 84% of arriving and departing flights operating within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival and departure time.

Liverpool has the 7th best record in the world when compared to airports of a similar size for scheduled flight on time performance.

Queue times for passengers to go through airport security remained low throughout 2018, with 97% of passengers taking 10 mins or less to pass through security and over 80% taking less than five minutes.

New routes

This year is set to be another busy year for the airport, with new routes to Corfu, Copenhagen and Varna commencing in the summer. LJLA chief executive John Irving said: “2018 has been another very good year for the airport and for the region’s air travellers too, with Liverpool now offering an even greater choice of destinations and a fantastic passenger experience.

As an important gateway airport, Liverpool also benefits the city region, the North West and North Wales with an excellent passenger experience and improved connectivity helping to attract more inward investment and boosting the region’s visitor economies.”

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