London City expects pent up passenger demand to fuel a surge in growth in 2022.
With the introduction of new routes and the return of top-selling destinations, the airport is expecting more than three quarters of 2019 routes to be operating this year.
The prediction follows the announcement of a busy summer schedule for British Airways, the operator at the airport, and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Flights to Milan, one of the top performing routes which alone carried 275,000 passengers from the centre of London in 2019, will be reinstated this year.
Barcelona will return to the London City network for the first time in almost a decade, while new routes such as Thessaloniki join established summer favourites like Split, Mykonos and Faro.
The impact of Covid-19 can be seen in the 2021 results.
Some 714,000 passengers used London City last year, down 21 per cent on 2020 and 86 per cent on 2019.
However, in the first six months of the year, when extensive global travel restrictions were in place, the airport handled only 75,184 passengers.
In the last six months, as restrictions were eased, 638,785 passengers used the airport and very strong month on month growth was achieved.
Commenting on the year ahead and on the 2021 passenger figures, London City chief executive, Robert Sinclair, said: “At the start of the pandemic we made a conscious decision to work with and support our airlines, as we recognised they were facing the same challenges as we were.
“Investing in these relationships in the hard times has facilitated what we believe will be a strong bounce back starting with a really exciting summer schedule from London City.”
Image: Ben Walsh