25 MARCH 2019
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Despite forecasts to the contrary, air traffic in 2019 is continuing to grow according to figures for February released last week by air traffic control group NATS.
The statistics show NATS handled 174,069 flights in UK airspace last month, an increase of 2.8% compared to February 2018. It equates to an extra 4,769 flights, attributable partly to snow-related flight cancellations impacting numbers last year.
Non-transatlantic international overflights were 11.2% up; transatlantic arrivals and departures 1.5%; transatlantic overflights 12.3% and non-transatlantic international arrivals and departures 2.2%. Against trend, domestic flights were 3% down.
NATS said some of the highest contributing routes to the significant growth in the transatlantic overflights sector included flights from Paris, Milan and Frankfurt to New York JFK.
An increase in flights from Dublin to destinations such as Frankfurt, Moscow, Rome and Vienna contributed to the growth in the non-transatlantic international overflights sector.
NATS handled 24.2% of all European flight traffic last month, and both Swanwick and Prestwick centres showed growth compared to February 2018, with rises of 4% and 3.6% respectively. There was also growth at each of the ‘big five’ London airports.
NATS operations director Juliet Kennedy said: “Growth looks set to continue and we are working hard to plan and prepare for the coming months and the start of a very busy period in the industry.”
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