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Half of UK prefers to fly solo

Half of UK prefers to fly solo
27 Oct 2014

Half of those who travel from Britain prefer to take to the skies alone, according to research.

The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Passenger Survey Report revealed that of the 230 million passengers who flew from an airport in the UK in 2013, 49% did so alone, with London City Airport seeing the majority of lone passengers at 74%.

Aberdeen wasn’t too far behind London City with 72% of solo travellers and for those wondering where had the least amount of people seated alone, the East Midlands flies in with just 24%.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, of the 49% lone rangers, a total of 86% were flying solo for business purposes.

When it came to other passengers who weren’t flying for work purposes, 64% were doing so to visit relatives or friends (VFR). Of those travelling for leisure purposes, 19% opted to fly alone.

Interestingly enough, it also seems that the traditional wave off is no longer as important as it once was when it comes to flying. In fact, just 4% said goodbye to their loved ones at the terminal building.

But of those who were waved off, the VFR group were most likely to receive the friendly treatment, especially if they live in the West Midlands, as 27% flying from Birmingham Airport were waved off by loved ones.

People flying in the VFR group from Newcastle Airport are also more likely to feel the love, with 20% being taken into the terminal building for a farewell.  

Again, it probably comes as no surprise that those who travel for business are least likely to be waved off at just 2%. When it comes to business travellers, they are most likely to be flying from London City Airport at 55%, or Heathrow, which saw 30% of business travellers pass through its doors.

For those working in the North and outside of London, Manchester Airport had the most business departures with 14%.

The annual survey takes place to better understand passenger’s needs and trends, and this year’s results suggest that there may be a few missed opportunities by airports.

The CAA’s Director of Regulatory Policy, Iain Osborne, said: “Our annual survey data shines a light on the latest passenger trends and needs, providing an invaluable insight for the aviation industry.

“For example, do airports know how few people are being waved off, have they considered why and does this have implications for drop off facilities?

“While there are many excellent viewing facilities at UK airports, our passenger survey data tends to suggest they are not being used that much, and this may highlight a missed commercial opportunity."ADNFCR-408-ID-801756515-ADNFCR

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