Heathrow welcomed a record 5.4 million passengers in February, an increase of 2.4% on last year, and posted a record freight performance.
Emerging markets were a key source of growth with South Asia up 12.7% and Latin America up 6.5%, boosted by airlines flying larger, fuller aircraft to Heathrow. Domestic routes also grew strongly in February, up 3.6% as regional airline FlyBe carried an extra 17,000 passengers in the month.
Trade through the UK’s biggest port by value jumped by 5% in February on the back of growth in North American and East Asian markets, securing Heathrow’s 19th consecutive month of record cargo growth. The record cargo performance is increasing the strain on Britain’s global trading infrastructure and, says the airport, underscores the need to expand Heathrow at pace.
New analysis released in February revealed that six of Britain’s key trading routes, accounting for nearly 20% of the trade through Heathrow are already full – including Shanghai, Tokyo Haneda, Delhi, Mumbai, Los Angeles and Dubai.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Today’s figures show that Heathrow is filling up fast – if we don’t act soon to expand our nation’s global gateway, the UK will only fall further behind our European rivals. A prosperous, global-trading Britain needs an expanded Heathrow now.”