Discovering East Midlands Airport: Your Gateway To The Heart Of England

East Midlands Airport (EMA) is a key transport hub in the heart of England, serving the cities of Nottingham, Leicester, and Derby. With a fascinating history, an array of airlines, and top-notch facilities, this airport has become an essential gateway to the region. In this blog post, we will explore everything EMA has to offer, from its beginnings to the present day, and provide you with all the information you need for your next journey.

A Rich Aviation History

East Midlands Airport began its life in 1965, initially serving as a replacement for the smaller Derby Airport. The new airport was designed to cater to the growing demand for air travel in the region, and it quickly established itself as a vital transport hub. Over the years, EMA has seen continuous growth and development, including the expansion of its runway in the 1980s and the construction of a new terminal building in the 1990s.

Today, EMA is a bustling airport that welcomes millions of passengers each year. It has also become an important cargo hub, ranking as the UK’s busiest pure cargo airport.

Airlines and Destinations

EMA offers flights to a diverse range of destinations, both within the UK and internationally. Some of the major airlines operating at the airport include:

  • Ryanair: This low-cost carrier offers flights to popular European destinations such as Alicante, Faro, and Malaga.
  • Jet2: Another budget airline, Jet2 connects EMA with sun-soaked Mediterranean resorts and other European cities.
  • TUI Airways: Specialising in package holidays, TUI operates flights to a variety of destinations, including Austria, Barbados, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Lapland, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey.
  • Flybe: This regional airline offers flights within the UK, connecting EMA with cities such as Belfast, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Unique Airport Features

What sets EMA apart from other airports is its strategic location in the heart of England. With excellent transport links, it serves as a convenient gateway for travellers visiting the East Midlands region. The airport is also known for its cargo operations, handling millions of tonnes of freight each year.

Additionally, EMA has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. The airport has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, such as investing in energy-efficient lighting and introducing electric vehicles for ground operations.

Relax and Unwind: Airport Lounges

Travelling can be stressful, but EMA ensures that passengers can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing pre-flight experience. The airport features the Escape Lounge, a premium facility that offers a calm and quiet environment away from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal. Guests can enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks, as well as free Wi-Fi and a selection of newspapers and magazines.

Terminal Information

EMA has a single terminal building, making it easy for passengers to navigate their way through the airport. The terminal is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and other facilities to ensure a pleasant travel experience.

Accommodation Options: Hotels Near the Terminal

If you need a place to rest before or after your flight, there are several hotels located near the airport. Some of the top options include:

  • Radisson Blu Hotel: This upscale hotel is situated just a short distance from the airport and offers a range of amenities, including an on-site restaurant, a fitness centre, and a swimming pool.
  • Holiday Inn Express: A convenient and budget-friendly option, the Holiday Inn Express provides guests with comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary breakfast buffet.
  • Jurys Inn East Midlands Airport: Located within walking distance of the terminal, this hotel offers modern rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a leisure club with a gym and swimming pool.

What To See And Where To Eat In Nottingham, Leicester, and Derby

In Nottingham, visitors can explore the rich history and vibrant culture that this city has to offer. Start by visiting the legendary Nottingham Castle, which is steeped in history and boasts breathtaking views of the city. Another must-visit attraction is the City of Caves, a network of sandstone caves dating back to the Dark Ages. For a unique shopping experience, head over to the Old Market Square, which hosts a variety of events and markets throughout the year.

Nottingham is also known for its thriving culinary scene, with popular restaurants like the French-inspired Hart’s Kitchen and the vegetarian-focused Alley CafĂ©. For nightlife, visit the historic Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, one of England’s oldest pubs, or dance the night away at PRYZM nightclub.

Leicester is a diverse city with a blend of history and modern attractions. The city is home to the stunning Leicester Cathedral, where you can pay tribute to King Richard III, whose remains were discovered beneath a parking lot in 2012. To delve deeper into the city’s history, visit the Jewry Wall Museum, which showcases Roman artefacts and the remains of the Roman baths.

Leicester is also known for its vibrant food scene, featuring a mix of international cuisines, with popular spots like The Case Restaurant and Bar for contemporary British dining, and Kayal for delicious South Indian fare. For a lively night out, join the locals at popular pubs like The Globe or The Ale Wagon, or explore the clubs and bars at the city’s Cultural Quarter.

Derby offers a mix of history, culture, and entertainment for visitors to enjoy. The city is known for its industrial heritage, which can be explored at the Derby Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage site that once housed the world’s first factory. For art enthusiasts, the Derby Museum and Art Gallery is a must-visit, featuring collections of fine art and artefacts from the local area. When it comes to dining, Derby boasts a variety of options, from the contemporary European cuisine at The Dovecote Restaurant to the classic British dishes at The Wonky Table.

For a night out on the town, head to The Dolphin, one of the oldest and most haunted pubs in Derby, or visit The Distillery for a selection of craft beers and live music. For those looking to dance, the city’s lively club scene includes popular venues like Mosh and The Blue Note Club.

Discovering East Midlands Airport: Your Gateway To The Heart Of England
Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

IATA and ICAO Codes

For those interested in the technical details of East Midlands Airport, its IATA code is EMA, and its ICAO code is EGNX.

More Information About East Midlands Airport

If you’re looking for more information about EMA, there are several resources available to help you plan your journey. The official East Midlands Airport website ( provides comprehensive information about flights, facilities, and transport options. Additionally, the airport’s social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, offer regular updates on news and events.

For travellers who prefer mobile apps, the EMA Airport App is available for both iOS and Android devices. This handy tool provides real-time flight information, airport maps, and details about shopping and dining options.

Getting To EMA

East Midlands Airport is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, including trains, buses, and cars. One of the key train stations connecting the airport to the wider region is East Midlands Parkway. Located just a few miles away from the airport, the station offers convenient connections to various cities in the UK, including London, Leicester, and Nottingham. Passengers can save money by booking their train tickets in advance to secure the best deals on fares.

Travelling by bus is another cost-effective option for reaching East Midlands Airport. Several bus services connect the airport to nearby towns and cities such as Castle Donington, Long Eaton, Nottingham, Leicester, and Derby. By using public transport, passengers can not only save money but also contribute to a greener environment.

For those looking to drive to East Midlands Airport, it is situated near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, with excellent road links to major cities in the region. The airport is approximately 15 miles from Nottingham City Centre, 20 miles from Leicester, and 12 miles from Derby. Directions to the airport are well-signposted, and ample parking options are available for both short-term and long-term stays.

When flying from East Midlands Airport, passengers can take advantage of competitive ticket prices and a wide range of destinations offered by various airlines, including TUI Airways. To get the best deals, it is recommended to book flights well in advance and compare prices across different booking platforms.

East Midlands Airport also offers a range of services to ensure a smooth travel experience, such as currency exchange facilities. Passengers can save money by comparing the rates offered by different currency exchange providers at the airport and selecting the most favorable option.

East Midlands Airport is owned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the largest UK-owned airport operator. MAG also owns and operates Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport, and several smaller regional airports in the country.

In summary, East Midlands Airport is a convenient and easily accessible travel hub, with excellent connections to London, the southeast, and other major UK cities. Passengers can save money by using public transport, booking flights and train tickets in advance, and taking advantage of competitive currency exchange rates at the airport.

Start Your Journey at East Midlands Airport

Whether you’re planning a quick city break, a sun-drenched beach holiday, or a business trip, East Midlands Airport is the perfect starting point for your journey. With a wide range of flights, excellent facilities, and convenient transport links, EMA offers a seamless travel experience in the heart of England.

So why not book your flight, reserve a hotel, or explore other airport-related services at EMA today? It’s time to discover the charm and convenience of East Midlands Airport for yourself.

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