Hello, aviation enthusiasts! Today, we’ll be exploring the fascinating world of London City Airport, an airport that offers a unique perspective on air travel and access to the very heart of London, making it a firm choice for business travellers. Arriving here from the Continent for business trips to London avoids the road or rails delays incurred by arriving at Gatwick or Heathrow. From its intriguing history to the airlines that grace its skies, join us on this captivating journey through London City Airport!
A Stroll Through London City Airport’s History
Officially known as London City Airport (IATA: LCY, ICAO: EGLC), this airport has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1980s. Let’s take a look at some key moments in the development of London City Airport:
- Birth of an Idea: The concept of London City Airport was conceived in 1981 by Reg Ward, the CEO of the London Docklands Development Corporation, who saw the potential for an airport in the Docklands area.
- Location Selection: In 1982, the Royal Docks were chosen as the site for the airport due to their proximity to the City of London and the availability of land for development.
- Construction Commences: Work on the airport began in 1986, with the project involving the creation of a runway, terminal, and other necessary infrastructure.
- Taking Flight: London City Airport officially opened for business in 1987, with the first commercial flight – a British Airways service to Paris – taking off in November of that year.
Airlines Soaring Through London City Airport’s Skies
London City Airport serves a variety of airlines, connecting the heart of the UK capital to numerous destinations across Europe and beyond. Here are some of the key airlines that operate at London City Airport (LCY ):
- British Airways: As the UK’s flagship carrier, British Airways offers a wide range of flights from LCY, including domestic, European, and selected long-haul services.
- KLM: The Dutch airline connects LCY to its hub in Amsterdam, opening up connections to an extensive global network.
- Lufthansa: Germany’s leading airline operates services from LCY to Frankfurt and Munich, offering convenient connections to numerous worldwide destinations.
- Swiss International Air Lines: This Swiss carrier provides flights from LCY to Zurich and Geneva, connecting passengers to the airline’s global network.
- Alitalia: Italy’s national airline connects LCY to Milan Linate, offering convenient access to the heart of the Italian business capital.
This is just a small selection of the airlines that call London City Airport home – many other regional and international carriers also operate from this bustling hub.
What Makes London City Airport Stand Out?
London City Airport boasts several unique features that set it apart from other airports and make it a fascinating destination for aviation enthusiasts and travellers alike. Here are some of the things that make this airport truly special:
- Proximity to Central London: Located just 9 miles east of central London, London City Airport offers unrivalled access to the heart of the UK’s capital, making it a popular choice for business travellers and tourists alike.
- Short Runway: With a runway length of just 1,508 metres, London City Airport is known for its short take-offs and landings. This means that aircraft must be specially certified to operate at the airport, with the majority of flights using regional jets and turboprop aircraft.
- Steep Approach: Due to the airport’s location amidst a densely populated area, flights arriving at London City Airport must adhere to a 5.5-degree approach angle, which is significantly steeper than the standard 3-degree angle at most airports. This results in a unique and thrilling landing experience for passengers.
Relax and Recharge: Lounges at London City Airport
While London City Airport may be smaller in size compared to other London airports, it still offers a comfortable lounge experience for travellers looking to unwind before their flight. Here’s what you can expect from the lounge available at London City Airport:
- The First Class Lounge: Accessible to all passengers for a fee, the First Class Lounge offers a tranquil environment with comfortable seating, complimentary refreshments, and a range of newspapers and magazines. This lounge is ideal for those seeking a quiet and relaxing space before boarding their flight.
London City Airport’s Terminal and Nearby Hotels
London City Airport features a single passenger terminal that handles all flights. The terminal offers a range of services and amenities, including dining options, shops, and car rental services. Here are some hotels located in close proximity to the airport:
- Aloft London Excel: This stylish, contemporary hotel is located just a short drive from the airport, offering comfortable accommodation and a range of amenities, including a fitness centre and on-site dining options.
- DoubleTree by Hilton London ExCel: Situated near the ExCeL convention centre, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, a fitness centre, and an on-site restaurant, making it a convenient choice for travellers visiting the airport.
- Premier Inn London Docklands (ExCel): This budget-friendly hotel is located close to the airport and offers comfortable accommodation, an on-site restaurant, and easy access to public transport links.
What To See And Where To Eat In Central London
In the heart of the City of London, you’ll find a treasure trove of history and culture, with numerous iconic landmarks to explore. Start by visiting the Tower of London, a historic fortress that houses the Crown Jewels and has an intriguing past as a royal palace, prison, and execution site.
From there, take a stroll across the famous Tower Bridge, an impressive feat of Victorian engineering. Just a short distance away is St. Paul’s Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece designed by Sir Christopher Wren, where you can climb to the top for a panoramic view of London’s skyline.
After taking in the historic sites, indulge in the City’s vibrant culinary scene. With a plethora of options to choose from, there’s something for everyone. For a taste of traditional British fare, head to The Lamb Tavern or Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, both historic pubs serving classic dishes in a cozy atmosphere.
If you’re in the mood for something more modern, you can’t go wrong with Duck & Waffle, a popular 24/7 restaurant located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, offering stunning views and innovative dishes that will delight your taste buds.
When night falls, the City of London transforms into an energetic hub for nightlife. From swanky cocktail bars to lively pubs, there’s a venue for every preference. For a unique experience, visit The Ned, a former bank turned luxury hotel and members’ club, boasting nine restaurants, multiple bars, and a live music venue.
If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, try Oriole, an award-winning cocktail bar with an eclectic menu inspired by global flavors. Finally, for those who want to dance the night away, Fabric is a legendary nightclub hosting world-class DJ sets and live acts in a spacious, industrial-style venue.
What Makes LCY Airport So Special
One of the key aspects of London City Airport (LCY) is its convenient location in London’s Docklands area, making it the closest airport to London city centre. With Canary Wharf and other prominent business districts within easy reach, LCY Airport is an ideal choice for business travellers and tourists alike. To ensure a seamless travel experience, it’s important to familiarise oneself with a London City Airport guide, which will provide vital information on navigating the airport and its facilities.
Getting to and from London City Airport is made easy by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which connects the airport with Canning Town, a major interchange station for the London Underground. From Canning Town, passengers can transfer to various London Underground stations on the Jubilee Line, such as Canary Wharf, North Greenwich, and West Ham. This makes reaching the city centre, North Woolwich, and other destinations in London hassle-free and efficient.
The Terminal Building at London City Airport is designed to provide a comfortable and convenient experience for passengers. Terminal facilities are spread across two levels, with the ground floor housing check-in desks, arrival areas, and passport control. Meanwhile, the first floor is home to departure gates, retail outlets, and dining options. To streamline the check-in process, it is recommended to have your boarding pass ready and ensure all travel documents are in order before approaching the airport’s passport control area.
A wide range of airlines fly in and out of London City Airport, making it an important hub for both domestic and international flights. Some of the busiest routes include flights to and from Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Zurich. The airport is well-equipped to handle the high volume of passengers, offering a comprehensive range of terminal facilities such as currency exchange, baggage services, and free Wi-Fi access.
Car parking at London City Airport is designed to cater to the diverse needs of travellers. Various car parking options are available, including short-stay, long-stay, and valet parking. For those who prefer a more personalised service, the valet parking option is a popular choice, as it allows passengers to leave their vehicle with a professional valet who will park it securely on their behalf. It is advisable to pre-book car parking spaces online to secure the best rates and guarantee availability.
In summary, London City Airport is the closest airport to London city centre, providing easy access to the bustling heart of the city and its surrounding areas. With the Docklands Light Railway connecting the airport to key London Underground stations, it has never been more convenient to travel to and from LCY Airport. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, be sure to consult a London City Airport guide, familiarise yourself with terminal facilities, and take advantage of the various car parking options available.
Discover More About London City Airport
If you’re interested in learning more about London City Airport, be sure to visit their official website at www.londoncityairport.com. Here, you’ll find information on flight schedules, airport services, and transportation options, as well as airport maps and guides.
Share Your LCY Adventure
We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look at London City Airport and all it has to offer! If you found this post engaging and informative, please share it with your fellow aviation enthusiasts and travellers. By spreading the word, you’ll help others discover the unique aspects of this captivating airport, from its rich history to its one-of-a-kind landing experience.
So next time you’re flying through London City Airport, take a moment to appreciate its distinctive features and convenient location. And don’t forget to share your own experiences in the comments below – we’d love to hear your stories!
Happy flying, and we’ll see you in the skies above London City Airport!