Heathrow Airport started off 2019 with a monthly increase in passenger traffic of 2.1 per cent in January as 5.9 million passed through the terminals in what was its 27th consecutive record month.
Africa and East Asia continue to be amongst the best performing regions, up 9.7 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.
The African nations to make the biggest gains were Morocco (+40 per cent), Ethiopia (27 per cent), Nigeria (13 per cent) and South Africa (12 per cent). In East Asia, China saw growth of 27 per cent, due to the continued interest in new services to the country.
Figures from the ACI show Heathrow remains Europe’s busiest airport, even though growth continues to be hampered the airport’s current capacity constraints. ACI also reports that aviation capacity issues are becoming more widespread and evident across Europe, strengthening the case for Heathrow’s expansion.
Heathrow chief executive officer (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.”
Meanwhile, London Luton Airport (LLA) has recorded an increase in passengers of 12.9 per cent compared to January last year, with 1.1 million passengers travelling through the airport last month.
In what was a record-breaking January for the gateway, popular destinations for winter breaks included Geneva and Lisbon, while Amsterdam and Bucharest continued to be the busiest routes overall.
Following the official opening of the newly-upgraded terminal in December 2018, passengers are now able to benefit from improvements such as the addition of 3,000 seats and 48 new shops and restaurants in a retail and dining area that has doubled in size.
LLA CEO, Alberto Martin said: “January has been an exciting start to 2019, as we continue to welcome more passengers than ever before. Our redevelopment has been designed to make journeys more enjoyable and more comfortable, which our passengers are now experiencing.”