London Heathrow airport has reported that around 5.6 million passengers passed through the facility in December 2012.
The airport’s December 2012 passenger traffic has set a record for the month and an increase of 2.0 percent compared to December 2011. This increases the yearly passenger traffic figure for 2012 to around 70 million, the most that the airport has reported for a calendar year in its history.
The 2012 surge in passenger traffic is led by North Atlantic traffic, which increased by 3.2 percent, compared to that in 2011. Traffic to Brazil has increased by around 21.6 percent when compared to 2011, due to increased flights from the airport in 2012, and a 3.4 percent increase in the passenger traffic from the Middle East and central Asia, is due in part to the recovery of key markets in the region.
European traffic at the airport has increased by 0.5 percent in 2012, over 2011. Traffic for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain has seen a decrease of 4.5 percent over the course of 2012. Cargo was reported to have reduced by 1.3 percent for the year. Load factors are 75.6 percent in 2012, against 75.2 percent in 2011, while there were more seats per aircraft in 2012, 197.4 against 194.8 in 2011.
The chief executive officer for Heathrow airport, Colin Matthews, said, ‘The figures for 2012 show Heathrow is delivering higher passenger numbers despite a tough economic climate. At the same time passenger satisfaction reached record levels. Over the next twelve months we will continue to improve the passenger experience and focus on our investment programme, as we move towards completion of the new Terminal 2.’