Heathrow grew at its fastest rate in five years in 2017, welcoming a record 78 million passengers (+3.1%) while retaining its position as Europe’s top-rated major airport for the third year running.
Heathrow also saw a 10.2% increase in cargo volumes, and close to £700 million invested in the airport over the year, and new services to Portland and Santiago.
The Airport also posted a strong financial performance with revenues of £2,884 million (up 2.7%) and earnings before tax of £1,760 million (up 4.6%). They completed over £1.0 billion in debt financing, all of which, the say, puts them in a strong position to finance expansion.
They also list as a 2017 highlight the start of the first planning consultation for expansion, and the government committing to a vote in Parliament in summer 2018.
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow, said: “Heathrow had a fantastic 2017 – welcoming a record 78 million passengers, giving our best service ever and offering better value for our passengers with lower airport charges.
“But while we are squeezing out small bits of growth, our rivals in France and Germany are overtaking us – for Britain to thrive post-Brexit, the Government needs to crack on with Heathrow expansion as quickly as possible with a vote in Parliament before the summer.”
However, Heathrow Hub disagree, and feel the commitment on managing costs around expansion is not strong enough. Their statement said: “As Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner IAG and other airline executives told the Transport Select Committee this week, Heathrow Airport’s plans for a 3rd Runway could …. result in even higher charges for passengers. We should have zero confidence in Heathrow Airport’s vague commitments to hold costs down”.
“Heathrow Airport’s 3rd Runway plans are another infrastructure project waiting to go wrong. We call on Lillian Greenwood, chair of the Transport Select Committee, to amend the National Policy Statement which she is reviewing so that our cheaper, simpler, quieter extended runway is taken forward instead. Our first phase is the cheapest option for expansion, at £3.8bn, and would have no impact on current passenger charges.”