Heathrow exceeds 80 million passenger mark in 2018 as it plans for expansion

Heathrow, airfield, aircraft tail fins on apron, Sep 2018.

Heathrow recorded its busiest year ever in 2018 with over 80 million passengers travelling through Europe’s busiest airport, an increase of 2.7 per cent on 2017.

The results come following a busy Christmas period, with 6.5 million passengers travelling through the hub in December. Africa and Latin America saw the highest levels of passenger growth, rising 9.3 per cent and seven per cent respectively on last year. The airport’s only passenger decline was in domestic flights, which fell 0.1 per cent.

In comparison, Stansted handled an all-time high of 28 million (+8.1 per cent), while Gatwick has yet to release its results, which will have been negatively impacted by the drone enforced closures just before Christmas.

Heathrow also ranked highly on customer satisfaction scores, with the airport named ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ for the fourth year running, and ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for the ninth year in the most recent Skytrax World Airport Awards. Terminal 2 also beat its international counterparts to win ‘World’s Best Airport Terminal’, with Terminal 5 coming in 4th.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye welcomed the results, saying, “2018 has been an exceptional year for Heathrow, with record passenger numbers and service levels, and with MPs voting overwhelmingly in support of expansion.”

“We are on track to deliver an expanded Heathrow in the early years of Brexit, which will keep Britain as one of the world’s great trading nations.”