Passenger, freight numbers reach new high in London Heathrow Airport

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London Heathrow Airport has recorded the best ever month in its history in July, with both passenger numbers as well as freight reaching new high.

East Asia saw a 14 percent uplift in cargo loads on the back of strong growth to China and China’s Hong Kong region as well as Singapore, the airport said in a statement.

Breaking all previous monthly records, Heathrow welcomed 7.53 million passengers in July, averaging 243,000 passengers a day.

Heathrow said cargo through the airport climbed at the fastest rate ever recorded at Britain’s largest port, up 15 percent to 143,000 tonnes in July.

American Airlines boosted cargo volumes by a huge 44 percent driving growth in trade with North America.

Middle Eastern destinations were particularly popular for travellers as fuller aircraft led to a seven percent increase in passengers to the region, while more flights to Brazil pushed up passenger numbers to Latin America by three percent

Domestic destinations in Britain saw five percent passenger growth on the back of recently launched Flybe flights to Scotland.

Heathrow continues to work closely with airlines and has made good progress towards meeting the government’s challenge to deliver expansion with charges close to current levels, while delivering all local commitments and the global connections Britain needs.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, “Britain’s global gateway is hard at work this summer holiday season — July was the best month in Heathrow’s history.”

“With more passengers than ever and trade growing at the fastest rate ever recorded, Heathrow is helping Britain show the world our country is open for business,” he said.

But a report by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released Friday gave Heathrow a poor rating in its league table for disability access to airports.

The CAA in its second disability report said 3 million passengers with disabilities asked for extra help at airports in 2016, a rise of 300,000 compared with 2015.

Six airports, including Glasgow and Prestwick, also in Scotland, were given “very good” ratings.

Apart from Heathrow, all of London’s airports, London City, Gatwick, Stanstead, Southend and Luton, were rated “good.”

Manchester, Exeter and East Midlands joined Heathrow at the bottom of the table for being “poor.”

The CAA report said, “We acknowledge that Heathrow has certain challenges, in particular long walking distances and high numbers of passengers that need assistance at the airport, which puts pressure on it to deliver a consistent and high quality assistance service.”

“Heathrow has worked to try improve the service for users. Unfortunately, substantive issues still exist with the quality of the assistance service provided at Heathrow,” said the report.

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