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Heathrow Airport Records a Remarkable Year

British Airways Airbus A321neo at London Heathrow. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

London’s Heathrow Airport has announced its passenger numbers reached 80.9 million in 2019, marking the ninth consecutive year of growth. However, cargo service dropped by 6.6 percent compared to last year.

Heathrow stayed in the top 10 busiest airports and it attributes this to “larger and fuller aircraft.”

Also, the busiest airport in the country experienced the busiest December as well. More than 6.7 million passengers traveled through the airport. Heathrow benefited from the domestic routes surge, such as Flybe domestic routes to Newquay, Guernsey and British Airways’ Scottish route.

As a result of the new services to Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, the passenger volume to North American increased by 7.1 percent. Heathrow recorded an increase of 3.1 percent compared to the same time as last year. December became the strongest monthly increase recorded in 2019.

2019 was an important year for the airport. Heathrow unveiled its masterplan in June and confirmed the construction of the third runway. Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) turned down Heathrow’s “aggressive schedule” and believed the airport’s third runway need “maximum activity” to be accomplished.

The new runway is expected to be completed between early 2028 and late 2029, a 12-month delay from the initial plan. CAA believed the delay may diminish the cost in the early phases of development and rule out a “higher airfares, reduced choice and lower service quality.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, “By the end of this new decade of delivery, a third runway will have given Britain more hub capacity than our rivals in France or Germany, making this country a winner and the best-connected country in the world. Regular, direct flights to all the major cities in the US, India and China – the greatest economies of the 21st Century.”

Pete Ainsley

Author

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