February was another record month for Heathrow with 5.18 million passengers travelling through the UK’s only hub (+4.5% on February 2015, +1.2% after leap year effect). Larger, quieter aircraft continued to be a driver for growth in passenger volumes.
There was strong passenger growth from emerging markets, including to Mexico which was up 21%, China 14%, Turkey 6% and the Middle East which was up 6% as carriers continue to benefit from new aircraft including A380s
February cargo volumes at the UK’s largest port increased a robust 2.7%, with flagship carriers in fast-growing Latin America in particular boosting export opportunities for British SMEs. Cargo volumes to the region jumped 5% aided by increased frequencies from Colombia’s Avianca and Aeromexico, which contributed to a 40% increase in cargo volumes to Mexico. In other emerging markets, cargo volumes were up 34% to Nigeria, 32% to Turkey 32% and 12% to China.
East Asia continues to perform strongly, with passenger volumes up 11.4% and cargo volumes increasing 18% following the launch of Vietnam Airlines’ services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City after switching from Gatwick last year and British Airways’ new flights to Kuala Lumpur. Next month Garuda Indonesia will launch the UK’s first non-stop services to Jakarta, providing improved direct access to Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Heathrow continues to drive improvements to make the airport the most sustainable hub in the world – launching 2016 with a £2 million investment in electric charging infrastructure at the airport and being the first airport to sign up to the Paris Pledge for Action on climate change
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Long haul routes from Heathrow support British exporters up and down the country – with businesses trading up to 20 times more with markets where we have a daily direct flight.
“This month we’ve seen a big boost in exports to Latin America and East Asia. With an expanded Heathrow Britain can do even better. We’ll open up 40 new trading links and supercharge British trade with the fastest growing markets of the world.”