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The largest airports in the UK

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The most important facts about “the largest airport in the UK”

  • London Heathrow Airport is the largest in the UK, handling over 79 million passengers in 2023.
  • London Gatwick Airport follows as the second busiest, serving about 40.9 million passengers.
  • Manchester Airport ranks third, with approximately 28.1 million passengers, making it the busiest non-London UK airport.
  • London Stansted and London Luton airports are the fourth and fifth busiest, supporting 27.95 million and 16.4 million passengers respectively.
  • These airports underline the UK’s significant role as a major hub for international air travel.

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Airports serve as pivotal gateways not just for travelers but also for the economic vitality of a region. The United Kingdom, known for its significant historical and modern global influence, hosts numerous airports, from large international hubs to smaller regional terminals. Discover which are the largest airports in the UK by passenger volume in this article.

Insights into the 10 Busiest Airports in the United Kingdom

The UK is dotted with several large airports, most of which feature an array of shopping and leisure facilities to enhance the travel experience. Here’s a closer look at the top 10 busiest airports in the UK along with interesting facts and figures.

1. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Heathrow stands out as the largest airport in the UK. In 2023, it handled approximately 79,180,434 passengers, making it a critical hub not just in Europe but across the globe. Heathrow is well-known for its extensive connectivity and premium services, offering flights to nearly every corner of the world.

2. London Gatwick Airport (LGW)

Gatwick is a major player in the UK’s aviation market, with passenger figures reaching around 40,897,656 in 2023. It serves as a significant base for several international airlines and is renowned for its efficient single-runway operation.

3. Manchester Airport (MAN)

With 28,096,783 passengers in 2023, Manchester Airport is a key international gateway for the north of England. It boasts three terminals and serves as a hub for numerous international airlines.

4. London Stansted Airport (STN)

Stansted caters predominantly to European destinations, handling 27,951,291 passengers in 2023. It is particularly favored by budget airlines and is crucial for low-cost air travel in the UK.

5. London Luton Airport (LTN)

Serving as a major base for low-cost carriers, Luton Airport facilitated travel for 16,403,784 passengers in 2023. Its proximity to London makes it a popular choice for both business and leisure travelers.

6. Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

As the busiest airport in Scotland, Edinburgh Airport saw 14,396,794 passengers in 2023. It plays a vital role in connecting Scotland to the rest of the UK and international destinations.

7. Birmingham Airport (BHX)

Birmingham Airport supports the Midlands with extensive domestic and international flights, handling 11,481,365 passengers in 2023. It is known for its accessibility and user-friendly facilities.

8. Bristol Airport (BRS)

Bristol Airport, the gateway to the South West, facilitated travel for 9,913,011 passengers in 2023. It offers a range of flights, particularly to Europe, and is expanding its reach with new routes.

9. Glasgow Airport (GLA)

Glasgow Airport is an important Scottish hub with 7,358,828 passengers in 2023, serving as a vital connection point for transatlantic, European, and domestic flights.

10. Belfast International Airport (BFS)

 Belfast International is Northern Ireland’s busiest airport, with 5,957,055 passengers in 2023. It connects the region to major cities in the UK and popular vacation destinations in Europe.

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Which are the largest airports in the world?

Are you ready to be impressed by the largest airports by passenger volume in the UK? Then take a look at the figures for the world’s largest airports:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), USA: 104.7 million
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB), United Arab Emirates: 87 million
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), USA: 80 million
  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR), UK: 79.1 million
  • Denver International Airport (DEN), USA: 77.8 million
  • Istanbul International Airport (IST), Turkey: 76.03 million
  • Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD), USA: 73.9 million
  • Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDC), France: 67.42 million
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), USA: 66.02 million
  • New Delhi Airport (DEL), India: 65 million

FAQs: largest airport in the UK

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Conclusion on the topic of the largest airport in the UK

The UK’s airport landscape plays a central role in both European and global air traffic, led by Heathrow Airport, which is the largest in the UK. Heathrow is renowned not only for its impressive passenger numbers but also as a crucial hub. The passenger figures at UK airports reflect the country’s importance as a travel and trade center. The airports are also indispensable to both the local and international economy.

How can Flightright help you?

Are you stuck at the airport due to a flight delay? Your flight has been cancelled or you have been removed from the passenger list (denied boarding)?

In each of the situations described, you as a passenger have a right to compensation.

According to the UK261 Legislation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. They can receive up to £520 compensation per person (minus the success commission). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.

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As the market-leading consumer portal, Flightright fights for the enforcement of air passenger rights. We stand up for your rights in the event of a flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding and refer to the UK261 Regulation. Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket refunds and refunds for cancelled package holidays.

As experts in the field of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline!

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