Record passenger numbers marked a strong start to the year at UK’s biggest airports. Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport, London Luton Airport and Edinburgh Airport are some of the airports that recorded their busiest January ever.
Heathrow Airport had a flying start to the year, as the airport welcomed 5.8 million passengers in January, with domestic flights being a key driver of growth. Passenger volumes were up 1.1% on 2017 and January marked the 15th consecutive record month for Heathrow. Also, freight travelling through the airport reached record levels for the start of the year, as over 133,000 tonnes made its way through the airport in January, with export volumes growing by 10.6%.
“Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway. Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU,” said Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye.
Manchester Airport, the UK’s third biggest airport, edged ever closer towards breaking the 28m-passenger number in January, for the first time in its history, which represents a growth of 7.45%. More than 1.6m passengers passed through the airport during the month.
“One of Manchester Airport’s strengths is its mix of airlines and destinations, which provide passengers with an unrivalled choice of places to travel to for business or leisure. This has contributed to annual passenger numbers growing by more than 7.5% year-on-year, which is positive news for the region,” said Manchester Airport CEO, Andrew Cowan.
London Stansted Airport as well saw more than 1.8 million passengers travelling through the terminal during the airport’s busiest ever January, marked by an increase of 3.3%, or 57,000 passengers more passengers than last. Cargo handled at Stansted was also up by 4.5%.
“We have a significant year ahead of us, with new airlines and long-haul routes starting, as well as ambitious plans to upgrade our facilities. With Stansted being the only London airport with significant available runway capacity we’re focused on investing in our facilities and ensuring we provide the best passenger experience,” said London Stansted CEO, Ken O’ Toole.
London Luton Airport registered a 3.6% increase compared with the same period in 2017, with 1,021,954 passengers travelling through the airport. These numbers come at the start of a landmark year for London Luton Airport; the airport will celebrate its 80th anniversary and reach the next stage of its redevelopment.
“2018 is already off to a fantastic start. We’ve seen another record-breaking month, welcoming over one million passengers in January for the first time. This is yet more evidence of the continued demand for air travel, and another reminder of the UK’s urgent need for additional aviation capacity,” said London Luton Airport CEO, Nick Barton.
Edinburgh Airport, Scotland’s busiest airport, saw a 7.1% increase in passenger numbers compared with the same month last year (837,542 passengers passed thought the airport). The growth came from international services. For example, Ryanair’s sixteen new routes which launched in 2017 boosted passenger numbers, and Eurowings’ services to Munich and Dusseldorf did not operate last winter.
“This is another positive set of results which demonstrates the continued pull that Edinburgh and Scotland has as a destination, and of the variety of destinations that we can offer to those looking to get away,” said Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar.