Southampton Airport celebrates 21 successful years


Southampton Airport celebrates 21 successful years

Southampton Airport is celebrating the 21st birthday of its passenger terminal which was opened in December 1994 by HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York. The previous passenger terminal, which was originally built in 1918, was demolished early the following year.

In 1994 Southampton Airport had 450,000 passengers flying to around 15 destinations. 21 years later the passenger figures have more than quadrupled with 1.8 million passengers flying to around 40 destinations. When the new terminal was first opened in 1994 it won multiple awards including the Royal Fine Art Commission and Sunday Times Building of Year Award, the British Construction Industry Award 1995 and the Structured Steel Design Award.

Managing Director of Southampton Airport, Dave Lees, says “Southampton Airport is a major success story for this region. We are currently the top airport in the UK for customer service and have maintained the reputation of an easy, fast and friendly airport despite growing passenger numbers and destinations. We are situated in an excellent location and have seen growth in people flying in to join cruise ships in the port as well as those choosing to use the airport as an easy way to get to London via fast rail links. This airport terminal was highly acclaimed for its design when it opened 21 years ago, and it still looks good today. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping to make Southampton Airport the success that it is today.”

This year alone Southampton Airport has announced four new airlines including VLM for routes to Antwerp and Hamburg and Aer Lingus Regional for a new route to Cork in the Republic of Ireland starting March 2016. It is also the first airport within the UK to offer scheduled flights with Volotea to Palma and will be welcoming Dutch airline, KLM, for flights to Amsterdam with worldwide connections. KLM and Volotea flights start in May 2016.

The 21st birthday was celebrated at Southampton Airport with two extra-large cakes.

A History of Southampton Airport

  • 1910 -The very first aircraft to take off from Southampton Airport was the Moonbeam 2 flown by Eric Rowland Moon.
  • 1936 - On March 5th the first flight of the Spitfire took place at Southampton Airport.
  • 1939 - The airport was re-commissioned as HMS Raven and spent the majority of the war supporting the Royal Navy.
  • 1945 - The airport returned from a wartime aerodrome to a municipal airport and a regular air service to the Channel Islands returned.
  • 1960’s - Mr. J N Somer purchased Southampton Airport from the Southampton Corporation.
  • 1988 - A consortium headed by Peter de Savary bought the airport from Mr. Somers and began applying for planning permission to completely redevelop the airport.
  • 1990 - BAA plc purchased the site and in 1993 detailed planning permission was granted and the construction of new facilities began.
  • 1994 - The new terminal was open for business and in 1995 the old terminal was demolished.
  • 2003 - Flybe launched 14 new routes.
  • 2012 - The Olympic Flame visited Southampton Airport as part of the torch relay for the London Olympics.
  • 2014 - Southampton Airport becomes part of AGS Airports Ltd. AGS is an equal partnership between Ferrovial and Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets.
  • 2015 – VLM starts new route to Antwerp and Hamburg and Southampton Airport is top airport in the UK for customer service. The terminal celebrates its 21st birthday.
  • 2016 – Aer Lingus starts new route to Cork in March, KLM starts new service to Amsterdam and Volotea starts route to Palma in May 2016. March 5th – 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire.