The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) forecast a “further recovery” in flights and air passengers as it reported more than six million passengers flew in and out of the UK in the three months to June, 85% up on the first quarter of the year.
However, numbers remained 92% down on the same period in 2019.
The CAA reported 6.3 million passengers flew in and out of Britain during the quarter compared with 3.4 million during January to March, and there were 124,000 flights – up from 81,000 in the first quarter of 2021.
Overall levels of cargo transport were down 9% compared with the same period in 2019, with more than 605,000 tonnes of cargo carried despite a substantial increase in cargo-only flights.
The CAA noted an improvement in the average flight delay, with an average wait of six minutes per flight, down from nine minutes in the first quarter of the year.
The authority reported more than 89% of flights departed on time.
A CAA spokesperson said: “We’re beginning to see an increase in international leisure travel, particularly across Portugal and Spain, as the travel sector looks to safely recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Following the steady relaxation of isolation rules for a variety of destinations, including those for double vaccinated UK citizens, we expect further recovery of the number of flights and passengers in quarter three of 2021.”