The Stansted Express service - which runs regular trains to Stansted Airport - will return to its full pre-pandemic service next month.

London Stansted's managing director Gareth Powell gave an update on the plans as he opened this year's annual Stansted Area Transport Forum.

Mr Powell said the full return of the service will help "boost the airport's ambitions", and that recent planning permission to extend the terminal will help "transform the passenger experience".

Following the reintroduction of a four-train per-hour service during peak times in May, Greater Anglia will resume the full every 15-minute pre-pandemic service on Sunday, December 10, in response to the continuing increase in passenger numbers at the airport.

Mr Powell said: "During my speech last year, I was keen to strike a note of optimism in the aftermath of Covid – to point towards Stansted’s recovery from the pandemic, our growing passenger numbers, our role in supporting a bright future for the regional economy, and steadfast commitment to decarbonising aviation.

"I’m delighted to say we’ve maintained our status as the fastest recovering major airport in the UK – the first, this summer, to surpass our 2019 passenger volumes in July, August, September and then into October.

"I also made a point of stressing the importance of high-quality surface access to Stansted, including restoring four trains per hour on the Stansted Express.

"The better connected this airport is, the greater its potential to serve as an engine of growth and international gateway for the region.

"I’m utterly committed to us preserving our status as the major airport with the highest public transport mode share, and I’d remind everyone that the more Stansted can improve its rail connectivity into the capital, the more we can compete with the other London airports to attract investment from the airlines.

"This will help us expand our route network, make the region better connected internationally and ultimately producing an economic dividend."

Mr Powell thanked stakeholders at the forum for helping the airport and Greater Anglia secure a commitment from the Department for Transport to restore the timetable to four trains per hour.

The airport has already seen an increase in public transport use over the last year, as it seeks to re-establish its previous position of 50 per cent of passengers accessing the airport by train or coach.

Mr Powell continued: "In a further boost to our ambitions, we recently received planning permission to extend our terminal building.


"This truly will transform the experience for passengers at every point of their airport journey as we enter the next phase in our growth as an airport, which this terminal extension will help unlock.

"I’m proud of the resilient and reliable operation we have here at Stansted and know that our onsite partners play a huge role in that.

"The Transport Forum anchors us in dialogue with one another, in a partnership approach to coming up with solutions, and I’m optimistic about the potential for greater integration on campus in years to come."