Heathrow breaks 80m passengers a year

A record 80 million passengers travelled through the UK’s hub airport in 2018, up 2.7% on last year, with growth boosted by the use of larger and fuller aircraft.

Heathrow is one of only seven airports in the world to achieve this milestone.

Over 1.6m metric tonnes of cargo travelled through the UK’s largest port by value throughout the year. North American cargo made up over 600,000 metric tonnes, Asia Pacific was second highest with more than 510,000 metric tonnes.​

Heathrow continued to raise the bar on customer satisfaction scores being named ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ for the fourth year running, and ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for the ninth year in the most recent Skytrax World Airport Awards. Terminal 2 beat its international counterparts to win ‘World’s Best Airport Terminal’, with Terminal 5 coming in fourth.

In 2018, Heathrow unveiled the airport’s plans for what it describes as “carbon neutral growth”, outlining action on four key areas to reduce and offset carbon emissions from the growth in flights that would be created by an additional runway – including through investments in peatland restoration and free landing fees for the first electric flight. Last year, Parliament voted for Heathrow expansion.

6.5 million people travelled through Heathrow in December, as passengers made their way home for the holidays or sought winter sun. Traffic increased by 2.5%, making December the 26th consecutive record month.

The regions that saw the most passenger growth were Africa and Latin America, up 9.3% and 7.0% respectively compared to last year.

132,000 metric tonnes of cargo travelled through the airport last month. The standout markets for cargo growth were Brazil, China and Turkey.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “2018 has been an exceptional year for Heathrow, with record passenger numbers and service levels, and with MPs voting overwhelmingly in support of expansion. We are on track to deliver an expanded Heathrow in the early years of Brexit, which will keep Britain as one of the world’s great trading nations.”

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