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Air and sea travel passenger numbers are up, year to date, compared to this time last year

There has been an increase of air passengers compared to last year – May was up 4% compared to May 2023, with an increase overall of 2%, year to date.

20 June 2024

New routes have meant some changes, particularly to London routes. Gatwick is 8% down YOY, totalling 9,074 – but the new London City route has already seen 9,875 additional passengers, along with Stansted, at 2,415, totalling 12,290.

There is also a shift in passenger traffic from the Midlands, with Birmingham up by 1,656 passengers counterbalancing a drop of 1,143 from East Midlands.

When we look at Harbour stats for the same period, we can see that there is an increase of 2,975 coming from travel within the Channel Islands, offsetting a decrease of 7%, (3,149 passengers), travelling by air, the implication being we are seeing inter island travel - but passengers are choosing to travel by boat rather than air.

Overall, we have seen an increase of ferry passengers coming through the harbour. May (excluding inter island and cruise) saw an increase of 14% on May 2023, with an increase of 6%, year to date.

We are seeing a shift in passenger preference, influencing where they are choosing to depart from – Poole has seen a drop, but our UK figure is3% up YOY because of the significant upturn in passengers opting for other UK ports (an increase of 3517, YOY, 45%).

Herm has had a difficult start to the year. Sark, Alderney and Jersey are all showing an increase on last year – the Jersey increase for May, compared to last May (38%) is encouraging and hopefully reflects the additional consumer marketing activity.

At the end of April, Condor announced they would be pulling the Cherbourg route from their summer timetable – reflected in these stats. While this presents as a large percentage decrease, when combined with an increase in St Malo traffic we see an overall increase in France traffic of 3%, YOY, translating to 660 passengers.

Cruise continues to provide the biggest challenges, with the following stats showing the difference in May comparisons:

  • Cruise calls 2023 May – 20 scheduled, 6 cancelled = 14 arrived, capacity on board 17,934
  • Cruise calls 2024 May – 16 scheduled, 4 cancelled = 12 arrived, capacity on board 4,977

Princess called four times in May last year. Regal Princess on 2nd May with 3,362 capacity on board, Sky Princess on 7th May with 3,583 capacity on board, Regal Princess on 10th May with 3,124 on board and Regal Princess on 22nd May with 3,495 capacity on board.

At the end of 2023, Princess and MSC made a business decision to not call into Guernsey in 2024. The cruise development teams, along with the newly formed Cruise Steering Group, continue to engage with both companies to work with them on re-introducing Guernsey as a port to future itineraries.

To see the full breakdown of Port stats for both May, and year to date, go to: Facts & Figures | Guernsey Trade Media

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