by OMS Admin

According to data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, air travel in the UK experienced a notable surge in 2022. The number of passengers traveling to and from UK airports exceeded 224 million, reaching an impressive 75 percent of the levels recorded in 2019. This high volume of travellers often results in queues and extended waiting times. Irrespective of whether individuals are filled with excitement at the beginning of their holiday or experiencing the post-holiday blues upon their return. Airports and airlines nationwide are always preparing themselves for a bustling summer season.

Here at ePower Trucks we wanted to find out the most popular airports based on the number of passengers, the number of airlines and total destinations, revealing the best airport for holidays to different countries. Additionally, we analysed the airports that demonstrated relative quietness in proportion to their respective populations. Furthermore, we assessed the top 10 airlines based on favourable customer opinions. Based on several key findings we have created a comprehensive report on airports in 2023.

Here’s what we found.

Which Airports In The UK Experience The Highest Number Of Passengers?

London Heathrow terminal

1.      Heathrow – 61,599,196

Given the size of London’s population, it is unsurprising that Heathrow Airport stands out as the most widely chosen airports. Heathrow has been a witness to numerous significant events taking place within its terminals, ranging from Queen Elizabeth II inaugurating the central terminal room in 1955 to its notable appearances in popular films like Love Actually. Boasting an impressive number of 86 airlines and offering access to a remarkable total of 171 destinations. Heathrow Airport provides connections to an extensive global network, ensuring travellers can reach destinations across Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and beyond. Solidifying its position as the primary choice for international travel.

2.      London Gatwick – 32,839,000

Another prominent airport in the London area is London Gatwick, serving as the secondary airport in the region compared to Heathrow. Located in West Sussex, Gatwick Airport handles a diverse range of flights, including both long-haul and short-haul journeys. With an impressive lineup of 47 airlines and access to 165 destinations, Gatwick offers travellers a variety of options. Including destinations such as Reykjavik, Iceland, Sofia, Bulgaria, Tirana, Albania and Tivat, Montenegro. However, it is important to note that Gatwick receives significantly fewer passengers per year compared to Heathrow, with a difference of 28,760,196 passengers.

3.      Manchester – 23,369,770

Manchester Airport stands as the sole non-London airport to secure a spot in the top 5 busiest airports. Renowned for its expansive infrastructure and outstanding facilities. Manchester Airport has the capacity to accommodate a significant number of long-haul flights. With a substantial roster of 50 airlines and access to 146 potential destinations. Manchester Airport serves as a vital international hub, catering to the travel needs of individuals residing in the northern regions of England. Offering glamorous destinations such as Malaga, Spain, New York, United States and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

4.      London Stansted – 23,319,523

Stansted Airport, positioned as London’s third major airport, consistently achieves passenger volumes on par with Manchester Airport. Despite its operational limitations of a single runway and terminal configuration. This airport remains a preferred option for travellers, particularly those residing in the northern parts of London or the less densely populated areas of East England. Despite having a relatively modest number of 10 airlines. Stansted Airport impressively offers flights to 153 countries, which attests to its popularity and wide-ranging connectivity. Historic destinations including Timisoara, Romania, Bydgoszcz, Poland, and Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

5.      London Luton – 13,322,000

Claiming the fifth spot is another notable airport in the London area. Positioned roughly 35 miles north of Central London and renowned for its status as a significant town. Over the years, this airport has experienced a noteworthy increase in passenger traffic. Like Stansted airport, it operates with a relatively small number of 8 airlines. However, it manages to offer flights to an impressive range of 88 potential destinations. Including, Athens, Greece, Marrakech, Morocco, Prague, Czech Republic and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The Tranquil 5 UK’s Quietest Airports Ranked By Population

Control Tower at Kirkwall Airport taken by Adrian Beney

1.      Kirkwall – 177,248

Kirkwall Airport, situated amidst the picturesque Orkney Islands in Scotland, distinguishes itself as one of the most tranquil airports in the United Kingdom. Surrounded by a serene and secluded environment, this region boasts a relatively small population of 7,450 and receives a limited number of tourists compared to bustling urban hubs. With just two airlines and eleven destinations, all within the UK, Kirkwall Airport caters primarily to domestic travel within the country.

2.      Humberside – 261,132

Humberside Airport, located in North Lincolnshire, enjoys a relatively tranquil setting away from major metropolitan areas. This characteristic contributes to lower air traffic and a smaller number of flights compared to busier airports. With only four airlines serving the airport, Humberside offers a modest selection of destinations. Providing travellers with access to four distinct places to visit, Aberdeen, Scotland, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Jersey, Channel Islands and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

3.      Newquay/Cornwall – 461,148

Situated on the coastal region of Cornwall in the southwestern part of England, this airport resides in a rural area with a relatively lower population density compared to urban centres. Due to its location, the airport has fewer international and long-haul flight options available. With just four airlines operating at the airport, travellers have access to a modest selection of five possible destinations to choose from. The five being London, Dublin, Isles of Scilly, Newcastle, and Manchester.

4.      Norwich – 528,153

Norwich Airport offers international flights, albeit with a relatively limited number of destinations available, totalling six. The airport primarily focuses on domestic flights, which explains its comparatively lower level of busyness. With a total of six airlines, Norwich Airport caters to a range of travel needs, providing both domestic and limited international connectivity.

5.      Bournemouth – 693,798

Situated on the picturesque south coast of England, Bournemouth Airport enjoys a relatively secluded location. As a result, the airport experiences lower levels of air traffic. Despite this, Bournemouth Airport provides access to a respectable selection of destinations, with a choice of 17 possible locations to explore. Operating with three airlines, the airport caters to both domestic and international travel, offering travellers a range of options to suit their needs and preferences.

Top 20 Populated Areas in the UK




1 East London 2,826,900
2 West London 1,937,200
3 South London 1,641,300
4 Central London 1,408,700
5 Birmingham 984,333
6 North London 982,300
7 Liverpool 864,122
8 Sheffield 685,368
9 Bristol 617,280
10 Glasgow 591,620
11 Leicester 508,916
12 Edinburgh 464,990
13 Leeds 455,123
14 Cardiff 447,287
15 Manchester 395,515
16 Stoke-on-Trent 372,775
17 Coventry 359,262
18 Sunderland 335,415
19 Brent 329,100
20 Birkenhead 325,264


Top 10 Popular Airlines in the UK (by positive opinion)



1 British Airways
2 Virgin Atlantic
3 Emirates
4 easyJet
6 Qantas
7 Jet2
8 Lufthansa
9 Ryanair
10 Qatar Airways


PRM Assistance Vehicles ePower Trucks

Given the substantial volume of passengers and personnel at airports, individuals requiring special assistance can encounter challenges in these bustling environments. Passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) may find it difficult to navigate the expansive terminals, making it crucial to address their unique needs. The demands of busy airport settings, characterised by the constant flow of thousands of workers, passengers, and luggage, can be overwhelming. Consequently, the provision of specialised assistance, such as PRM transport, airport wheelchairs or passenger airport transport, becomes vital to ensure a smooth and accessible travel experience for individuals requiring additional support. ePower Trucks offer a range of PRM transport vehicles available including an aisle Mobby transport chair, an e-Mobby electric transport chair, and a multi-Mobby.