Heathrow delivers smooth service during busiest Christmas getaway since 2019

posted on 11th January 2023 by Eddie Saunders
Heathrow delivers smooth service during busiest Christmas getaway since 2019

The holiday season brought a surge in passenger travel during December, with over 5.9 million people traveling through Heathrow Airport alone.

This marks a 90% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. The strong growth can be attributed to transatlantic travel and JFK being the busiest route for the airport.

Despite the high volume of passengers, Heathrow was able to provide a smooth and efficient service during the festive period. This was achieved through forward planning and collaboration with airport partners. During the Christmas peak, 92% of passengers passed through security in under 10 minutes, while service for passengers with reduced mobility was also improved. Additionally, arriving travelers reported a friendly and efficient journey through immigration, despite industrial action.

Overall, Heathrow welcomed 61.6 million passengers in 2022, which represents 76% of 2019 levels. This is 42.2 million more passengers than in 2021, making it the highest passenger increase of any airport in Europe.

Providing excellent service remains a top priority for Heathrow in 2023, as the aviation industry continues to rebuild capacity and resilience. However, the airport is also concerned that the recovery of the aviation sector, which is crucial to the economy, could be set back by the reintroduction of testing for travelers in the UK and other countries in response to increasing COVID-19 cases in China. Despite this, governments have acknowledged there is no scientific basis for testing.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “2022 ended on a high with our busiest Christmas in three years and a smooth and efficient service for passengers, thanks to the hard work of our colleagues and close planning with airlines, their ground handlers and Border Force.”

Traffic Summary            
             
December 2022          
             
Terminal Passengers
(000s)
 Dec 2022 % Change Jan to
Dec 2022
% Change Jan 2022 to
Dec 2022
% Change
Market            
UK              324 43.3            3,356 89.8            3,356 89.8
EU            1,851 127.1          21,299 193.5          21,299 193.5
Non-EU Europe              428 102.4            4,447 189.4            4,447 189.4
Africa              311 86.0            2,880 176.8            2,880 176.8
North America            1,453 82.1          15,399 361.4          15,399 361.4
Latin America              171 47.7            1,723 317.5            1,723 317.5
Middle East              690 42.8            6,945 201.9            6,945 201.9
Asia / Pacific              713 134.8            5,549 219.1            5,549 219.1
             
Total            5,943 90.4          61,599 217.6          61,599 217.6
             
             
Air Transport Movements  Dec 2022 % Change Jan to
Dec 2022
% Change Jan 2022 to
Dec 2022
% Change
Market            
UK            2,627 24.0          27,127 57.6          27,127 57.6
EU          14,318 46.2        166,082 128.9        166,082 128.9
Non-EU Europe            3,238 54.0          33,817 134.3          33,817 134.3
Africa            1,355 34.7          13,567 72.0          13,567 72.0
North America            6,522 43.1          74,194 113.4          74,194 113.4
Latin America              745 22.3            7,583 140.2            7,583 140.2
Middle East            2,421 20.9          25,564 50.0          25,564 50.0
Asia / Pacific            3,094 26.6          28,912 25.9          28,912 25.9
             
Total          34,320 39.3        376,846 98.3        376,846 98.3