London Stansted is aiming to secure direct services to at least 25 new long-haul destinations over the next five years, with a strong focus on the Far East, India, north America and the Middle East.
The airport is targeting the destinations that its analysis shows are already in high demand by passengers across its catchment area but it does not currently serve.
These include Hong Kong, Tokyo, Chicago, Guangzhou, Singapore, Delhi, Johannesburg, Shanghai and Columbo.
This week the airport’s aviation team is heading to Guangzhou in China for the annual World Routes Conference - the largest global gathering of airlines and airports.
While in China the team is set to showcase London Stansted’s transformational £600 million redevelopment project to airlines from around the world and discuss network and growth opportunities that are available from the airport.
The team is seeking to build on recent successes including the launch earlier this summer of Emirates daily direct service between Stansted and Dubai, which has already enjoyed very strong ticket sales with many passengers connecting to Emirates’ global network of over 150 destinations via its Dubai hub.
In addition, Stansted already provides the most direct connections to Europe of any UK airport, and this network is set to grow further as the airport works with existing and new carriers to provide even more choice.
Chief executive of London Stansted Airport, Ken O’Toole, said: “People from across the region, and businesses in particular, regularly tell us they want London Stansted to offer a network of long-haul routes that will connect them to their key countries, customers and markets.
“Stansted sits at the heart of one of the UK’s fastest growing and most successful economic regions, reflecting the competitiveness and ambition of the businesses trading here. We need to demonstrate this strength of demand to airlines who are not currently serving Stansted.
“For example, we know that over 400,000 people are currently travelling from the London Stansted catchment area to Hong Kong each year.
“Another ambition we have is to build a direct connection between the knowledge centres of the technology clusters of Silicon Fen and Silicon Valley - similar to what the flight between the airport and Boston is doing for the two areas of bioscience expertise.
“If we can do this, these passengers will no longer have to make the time-consuming and expensive trips to other airports across the UK.
“In the past year our aviation development team has made fantastic progress that has enabled us to secure six of the top ten most in-demand routes including New York, Dubai, Boston, Washington, Toronto and Tel Aviv.
“We want to build on this success and add even more direct services to key destinations across China, India, North America and the Middle East.”
He added: “Over the next decade, runway capacity in the south-east will be at a premium and Stansted will be responsible for delivering up to 50 per cent of London’s expected passenger growth and make a greater contribution to improving the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world.
“It’s imperative we continue to develop our route network by unlocking our spare runway capacity and providing the best service and facilities, so airlines and passengers can easily and conveniently access the world from Stansted.”