Heathrow Airport: Stellar start to 2019

Heathrow Airport: Stellar start to 2019

5.9 million passengers traveled through the UK’s only hub airport, kickstarting 2019’s passenger growth. January’s figures increased by 2.1%, as Heathrow reported its 27th consecutive record month, boosted by passengers returning home after the winter holidays.

Africa and East Asia continue to be amongst the best performing regions, up 9.7% and 5.6% respectively. The African nations to make the biggest gains were Morocco (+40%), Ethiopia (27%), Nigeria (13%) and South Africa (12%). In East Asia, China saw growth of 27%, due to the continued interest in new services to the country.

Over 130,000 metric tons of cargo travelled through Heathrow on the way to their final destinations in January.

The best performing markets for cargo were Africa, with growth of 8.9%, and Latin America which saw an increase of 8.8% largely driven by an increase in movements to Brazil.

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Figures from the ACI show that Heathrow remains Europe’s busiest airport, even though growth continues to be hampered the airport’s current capacity constraints. The ACI also reports that aviation capacity issues are becoming more widespread and evident across Europe, strengthening the case for Heathrow’s expansion.

Heathrow kicked off their eight-week long consultation on Airspace & Future Operations – asking the public to help shape the airport’s future airspace design – both for the existing two runway airport and as part of the proposed expansion.

In January, Heathrow became Britain’s first airport to launch a Shared Apprentice Scheme in construction. The scheme is one of the ways that Heathrow is working to ensure 10,000 high quality apprenticeships are delivered by 2030. The announcement was made as part of the airport’s response to the recommendations from the independent Skills Taskforce chaired by Lord David Blunkett.

NATS and Heathrow announced the start of a trial which aims to understand whether artificial intelligence could be used to help regain the landing capacity lost during times of low cloud or reduced visibility. The state-of-the-art technology aims to boost punctuality for passengers and reduce late runners for the airport’s local communities.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“2019 is off to a stellar start, with more passengers choosing to use Heathrow because of our improved service and lower costs.”

Traffic Summary

January 2019

Terminal Passengers
(000s) Jan 2019 % Change Jan to
Jan 2019 % Change Feb 2018 to
Jan 2019 % Change

Market
UK 326 -9.3 326 -9.3 4,762 -1.3
EU 1,817 1.6 1,817 1.6 27,632 3.1
Non-EU Europe 426 -1.0 426 -1.0 5,719 0.2
Africa 313 9.7 313 9.7 3,366 5.9
North America 1,278 4.9 1,278 4.9 18,160 4.7
Latin America 122 5.5 122 5.5 1,357 4.3
Middle East 629 -0.5 629 -0.5 7,657 0.6
Asia / Pacific 1,016 4.2 1,016 4.2 11,573 2.6
Total 5,928 2.1 5,928 2.1 80,225 2.8

Air Transport Movements Jan 2019 % Change Jan to
Jan 2019 % Change Feb 2018 to
Jan 2019 % Change

Market
UK 2,756 -15.8 2,756 -15.8 38,214 -5.2
EU 16,139 -1.7 16,139 -1.7 212,214 -0.2
Non-EU Europe 3,640 -1.0 3,640 -1.0 43,668 -2.4
Africa 1,358 8.8 1,358 8.8 14,546 1.9
North America 6,535 1.7 6,535 1.7 82,694 1.8
Latin America 530 6.2 530 6.2 6,025 6.2
Middle East 2,610 0.3 2,610 0.3 30,671 -1.8
Asia / Pacific 4,145 5.8 4,145 5.8 47,244 5.0
Total 37,713 -0.9 37,713 -0.9 475,276 0.1

Cargo
(Metric Tons) Jan 2019 % Change Jan to
Jan 2019 % Change Feb 2018 to
Jan 2019 % Change

Market
UK 36 -60.5 36 -60.5 862 -24.1
EU 7,361 -22.3 7,361 -22.3 108,683 -3.8
Non-EU Europe 4,627 6.7 4,627 6.7 57,445 4.2
Africa 7,476 8.9 7,476 8.9 89,280 -2.6
North America 47,669 1.1 47,669 1.1 607,418 -1.6
Latin America 4,220 8.8 4,220 8.8 52,729 9.6
Middle East 19,975 -4.2 19,975 -4.2 255,609 -5.2
Asia / Pacific 39,327 -2.7 39,327 -2.7 510,773 -0.1
Total 130,692 -1.8 130,692 -1.8 1,682,799 -1.4

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