Heathrow regains crown as Europe’s busiest airport, data showson October 11, 2022 at 9:40 am

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Despite beating its rivals, the west London airport says air travel demand “remains uncertain”.

Heathrow AirportImage source, PA Media

Heathrow has regained its crown as Europe’s busiest airport, according to its latest passenger data.

The west London airport said it hosted 5.8 million passengers between July and September, more than rivals in cities such as Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

A year ago, it was Europe’s 10th busiest airport, something it blamed on Covid pandemic travel rules.

Despite the rebound, passengers numbers were still 15% below pre-pandemic levels, it added.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said it had grown more in the past 12 months than any airport in Europe.

“I am proud of the way our team has worked with airlines and their ground handlers to get 18 million passengers successfully away over summer,” he explained.

“While we face many economic headwinds, as well as the legacy of Covid, our aim is to get back to full capacity and the world-class service people should expect from the UK’s hub airport as soon as possible.”

But the airport insists the outlook for future demand “remains uncertain” due to “growing economic headwinds, a new wave of Covid and the escalating situation in Ukraine”.

Christmas travel

It added: “However, we expect peak days at Christmas to be very busy.”

Mr Holland-Kaye said the “vast majority” of passengers travelling through the airport this summer had “had a very good experience”.

This is despite staff shortages forcing the airport to cap the number of departing passengers to 100,000 a day in July.

It came after long queues and problems with baggage handling over the summer.

The cap is set to end on 29 October.

Heathrow has declared that its “focus” over the next 12 months is to get capacity, service levels and resilience back to pre-pandemic levels.

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