Olympic exodus causes uptick in flight numbers

Olympic exodus causes uptick in flight numbers

Published Aug. 13, 2012 1:25 p.m. ET

The European air traffic agency said Monday that the departure of thousands of athletes, spectators, journalists and others from the Olympics was causing only a slight uptick in the number of flights across the continent.

Kenneth Thomas, head of operational support at Eurocontrol, said commercial and private flights from London's airports were expected to carry 30 percent more passengers than on a typical Monday. Still, the number of flights was only a few hundred more than the 29,360 that flew last Monday in Europe.

The mass getaway will not significantly increase the overall number of flights because passenger departures will be spread over a number of days. Also, many athletes and spectators had already left Britain without waiting for Sunday's closing ceremony, he said.

The record in commercial and general aviation flights in Europe was set June 28, 2008, with 34,476 flights in one day during the last summer holiday season before the global financial crisis set in later that year.