LONDON — London Heathrow released their monthly numbers, which coincided with the success of the Royal Wedding financially.
The strong numbers that Heathrow reported come following the Government’s announcement to hold a vote in Parliament within weeks regarding the expansion of the UK’s hub airport. Up to 75% of UK MPs are polled to be in support of the expansion.
The UK Royal Wedding helped @HeathrowAirport in May where they recorded 6.7 million passengers total, which is an increase of 3.1% compared to the previous year. Cargo was noted at 144,000 tonnes, making it 22 months of consecutive growth for the airport on both fronts! #AvGeek pic.twitter.com/jlG2Z9yGCF
— James Field (@AvGeekJames) June 12, 2018
The airport saw 6.7 million passengers travel through Heathrow in the month of may, which is a 3.1% increase on the same period last year. The airport put this down to wedding watchers from the US traveling to Windsor, where the ceremony took place, saw an increase in North American flights by up to 5%.
Domestic flights in Heathrow’s network also saw an increase in passengers, with a boost of up to 5.5% on flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Leeds. Cargo was also a strong point for Heathrow, where they recorded over 144,000 metric tonnes passing through the airport in May, which marks the airport’s 22nd consecutive month of record growth for cargo.
The airport saw that long-haul markets were the fastest growing markets for cargo with Japan accounting for 28% of the 144,000-ton number and Brazil accounting for 33% of that number. In terms of noise, Scandinavian Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines were the best performers in the Fly Quiet and Green competition, with the latter moving from the lowest spot on the league to a significant second place.
Such an increase in passenger numbers and cargo also reflected on the new services launched by China Southern this month to the cities of Wuhan and Sanya, with the airport’s connection to Sanya being the first in Europe. The routes will also allow an additional 110,000 seats for passengers annually as well as up to 6,000 metric tonnes of cargo capacity added on.
The airport saw a total of 41,144 movements in the month of May, which is an increase of just 0.3%. The low percentage is evidently reflective of the airport operating at full capacity and not having enough room to continue expanding unless the government approves such measures.
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Commenting on the results and the expansion of the airport was Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye who said: “We have a robust plan to expand Britain’s hub airport, unlocking billions in growth and creating tens of thousands of new skilled jobs – from Plymouth to Perth and Swansea to Southend. With strong cross-party support and a united voice from business and unions – MPs must finally seize the opportunity to expand Heathrow and secure a prosperous future for all of Britain.”
All-in-all, it appears that even though the UK is going through a political, economic and social change with BREXIT negotiations, it is not putting the carriers off from operating into that airport, especially as it is very rich in cargo and passenger value. This expansion may help keep some countries sweet in terms of airline and cargo operations and may encourage further international investment into the UK’s hub.