Nearly 850,000 passengers used London City Airport’s Scottish routes in 2016 – connecting Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen with the only airport actually in London. For an airport that welcomed a record-breaking 4.5 million annual passengers last year, that’s a significant proportion crossing the River Tweed at 35,000ft.
While many of those travellers are on a fleeting business trip either north or south of the border, there and back in a day or overnight, for some, it is their weekly commute.
Board a British Airways or Flybe flight to Edinburgh or Glasgow (BA only) on a Thursday evening, and you may see some familiar faces week after week. They will often be members of the Scottish business community or London workers that rely on a presence in the UK capital city four days a week, before returning to HQ or their Scottish family home on a Friday – a weekly routine with an 800-mile round trip thrown in. So ubiquitous are these super-commuters that there’s even a nickname for them – a ‘Willie’ – ‘Work in London, Live in Edinburgh.’
Innes Hall for example, who is Business Development Director in the City of London, says he commutes through London City Airport “because my prospective client base is largely based in London and the surrounding area, however the team I support via my business development activities are based in Edinburgh.” When in London, he stays in Limehouse in Tower Hamlets, meaning “with a fair wind, I can get from front door to front door in 3 hours.”
Therein lies the chief advantage of London City Airport – its close proximity to the key business districts of Canary Wharf and the City of London means it’s just 13 minutes and 20 minutes, respectively, to get to and from the airport. That equates to less time in transit and more time put to good use.
Rosemary McLennan, Director of the Scottish PA Network, whose community of PAs are responsible for the travel plans of hundreds of senior businessmen and women, said:
“How you choose to use your time has a major impact on health and productivity, and that is why so many executives travelling between Scotland and London opt for the seamless and quick ‘door to plane’ experience.
“Our PA members book London City Airport as its unique location, speedy check in, and facilities, including the new Business Lounge, are perfect for the discerning business traveller.”
Responding to customer demand, London City Airport opened a new landside Business Lounge in March, offering a premium customer experience at the reasonable price of £35 per person.
Passengers travelling on any airline or ticket type can enjoy the discreet, quiet atmosphere of the Business Lounge, located in the Private Jet Centre, a short drive from the terminal in a private shuttle. It offers the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate, with a complimentary selection of cold food, snacks, refreshments, and alcoholic beverages in the catered lounge. Free hi-speed Wi-Fi, charging points, and luxuriously furnished surroundings mean that it’s ideal for passengers who want to catch up on emails and make the most of the time before departure, with the added option to hire a meeting room space. For the super-commuter, the Lounge may become the new home to some familiar faces.