London City Airport’s major expansion put on hold due to COVID-19

Aug 17, 2020

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London City Airport has announced that it will be pausing its significant expansion due to a sharp downturn in passenger demand since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airport has confirmed construction that is currently underway will be completed by the end of 2020, when tools will be downed until demand for air travel makes a significant recovery.

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Once this phase of the expansion is completed by the end of 2020, there will be a total of eight new aircraft stands which have been designed for newer, cleaner more sustainable aircraft like the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2-190. The parallel taxiway will also be completed, allowing for a maximum of up to 45 aircraft movements per hour. The airport’s only runway currently also acts as a taxiway for both departing and arriving aircraft which restricts the number of take offs and landings. What won’t be returning is British Airways famous all business-class A318 “BA1” service to New York (JFK) which was recently and permanently axed.

Related: Short but sharp: British Airways’ Embraer E190 in Club Europe from Dublin to London City

In addition, at the start of September, the installation of a new immigration facility with a total of 10 new E-gates should be complete, making for a smoother, more streamlined customer experience when arriving at London City (LCY).

The airport’s CEO, Robert Sinclair, explained that the major expansion of the terminal building is the main element to be put on hold.

“Completing the terminal extension and new east pier very much remains part of our future, and, with the foundations for both in place, we stand ready to take those projects forward when demand returns”, said Sinclair in a statement. The terminal expansion will triple the size of the existing terminal bringing much needed space to what can become very cramped during peak travel periods.

The airport saw the return of flights in June, and is slowly rebuilding its route network. There are currently flights operating to five domestic and 11 international destinations: Amsterdam (AMS), Bergerac (EGC), Dublin (DUB), Dundee (DND), Edinburgh (EDI), Faro (FOA), Florence (FLR), Glasgow (GLA), Ibiza (IBZ), Isle of Man (IOM), Luxembourg (LUX) (suspended until September), Málaga (AGP), Menorca (MAH), Nice (NCE), Palma (PMI) and Teesside (MME).

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