East Midlands Airport gears for busiest summer since 2019

View of East Midlands Airport terminal area.
Photo Credit: East Midlands Airport
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

East Midlands Airport (EMA) is moving into its busiest summer since 2019, having just received a pat on the back from the UK’s aviation regulator.

Notably, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has recently rated EMA’s assisted travel provision as “very good” throughout the past year, marking it as the highest standard possible.

This recognition comes as a result of the airport’s continuous efforts to improve services and facilities for passengers in need of assistance.

Commitment to accessibility


The “very good” rating by the CAA is a testament to EMA’s dedication to ensuring a seamless and inclusive travel experience for all its passengers.

Through close collaboration with an accessibility forum comprised entirely of disabled individuals, including the Chair, the airport management team has been able to gain valuable insights and feedback on customer experience, training, monitoring, and recruitment.

Over the past year, significant improvements have been made, benefiting travelers with disabilities. Noteworthy initiatives include disability equality training for customer-facing colleagues, delivered by disabled trainers.

This additionally emtailed upgrading vehicles and other equipment to better accommodate disabled passengers. EMA has also introduced an assisted travel live chat service, a pioneering initiative in the UK, allowing travelers to seek assistance conveniently.

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Innovative services and equipment

EMA’s commitment to inclusivity extends further with the introduction of new mobility scooters for use around the terminal. These scooters enhance the mobility and independence of passengers with reduced mobility, ensuring they can navigate the airport comfortably.

Photo Credit: East Midlands Airport

Furthermore, recognizing the needs of Deaf customers, EMA has partnered with the online interpreting service, SignLive, to provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation for those using and contacting the airport.

This addition helps bridge communication gaps, enabling a more enjoyable travel experience for Deaf passengers.

Busiest Summer since 2019


As schools prepare for the summer holidays, EMA is anticipating a surge in passenger numbers, with the expectation of reaching 95% of pre-Covid levels during this period.

The peak month will be August, with an estimated 533,547 passengers expected to pass through the airport. Over the entire summer season, from April to the end of October, approximately 3.17 million passengers are projected to use EMA.

The popularity of East Midlands Airport flights to Spain, particularly to the Canary Islands and the Balearics, remains consistently high. Additionally, a notable increase in demand for flights to Greece and its islands has been witnessed, with a 59% rise in booked seats compared to 2019.

To accommodate this demand, new routes to Santorini and Skiathos have been introduced, further enriching the travel options available to passengers.

Top 10 destinations for summer travelers


For those curious about the most popular destinations for summer travelers departing from EMA, here is a list of the top 10 destinations:

  1. Alicante (Spain)
  2. Tenerife
  3. Palma de Mallorca
  4. Malaga
  5. Faro (Portugal)
  6. Arrecife (Lanzarote)
  7. Dublin
  8. Barcelona
  9. Fuerteventura
  10. Las Palmas (Gran Canaria)

EMA’s Managing Director’s thoughts

Steve Griffiths, EMA’s Managing Director, expressed his delight at the CAA’s rating of the airport’s accessibility. He commended the efforts of all colleagues involved in providing exceptional and inclusive customer service to every airport passenger.

Griffiths emphasized that achieving such a high rating just before the busiest season since 2019 is particularly rewarding.

He acknowledged the excitement in the terminal as holidaymakers prepare to embark on their summer adventures.

With the aviation sector taking significant strides towards recovery after a period of disruption and anxiety, EMA is poised to welcome hundreds of thousands of customers over the coming weeks.

The airport’s primary focus, along with its airline partners, is to continue breaking down barriers to travel, ensuring passengers have the best possible experience when flying through East Midlands Airport.

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