Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
London’s biggest two airports Heathrow and Gatwick recorded healthy passenger increases during August, although the figures were skewed by the impact of the Olympics last year.
Heathrow saw passenger numbers rise by 7.7 per cent to 6.96 million in August although this increase was boosted by “comparatively lower traffic” during the same month last year when the Olympics was being held.
Meanwhile Gatwick enjoyed a 5.2 per cent rise in passenger numbers to 4 million for August.
Heathrow benefited from the use of bigger aircraft with the average number of seats per flight increasing by 3.4 per cent to 204.2 while passenger numbers also rose by 6.9 per cent to 168.9 per flight.
The airport also saw a 13.4 per cent increase in passenger numbers to the four BRIC countries particularly to China and India which saw rises of 28.3 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Larger, fuller aircraft continue to contribute to rising passenger numbers at Heathrow. However, don't imagine this will solve the UK’s hub capacity crisis.
“The country is falling behind its international rivals in links to emerging economies – which in turn means we’re losing the global race for jobs, trade and economic growth. Only a larger hub airport can put the UK back at the forefront of international connectivity.”
Gatwick’s passenger numbers were boosted by a 6.9 per cent traffic rise to Europe and a 2.9 per cent increase to long-haul destinations. But traffic to North America was down 7.2 per cent year-on-year due to US Airways’ decision to stop flying from the airport.
Nick Dunn, Gatwick’s chief financial officer, said: “Taking into account last year’s Olympics, which saw many people stay in the UK, the underlying growth of 2.5 per cent paints a more accurate picture of the year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.”