Heathrow airport has a flyaway month as September numbers soar

Kate McCann
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Sign of the times for Heathrow with last month recorded as its busiest September ever
Heathrow airport saw its busiest September on record last month, with passenger numbers, cargo and travel between emerging markets all increasing.

The airport, which is currently making a bid for expansion, said the number of people flying in rose 0.3 per cent compared with September 2013. Overall, cargo was up 7.8 per cent, with Mexico boasting the biggest increase of 57.2 per cent.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, said more and more people were beginning to question how the UK could double its exports without increasing capacity at the airport.

He added: “September saw growing support from MPs and local residents for expansion at Heathrow as the best solution to the UK’s hub capacity crisis. Heathrow handles a quarter of all British exports by value, but is full.”

In September, the hub airport, which welcomes a number of long-haul flights, saw 6.58m passengers pass through its doors. Passengers per aircraft rose 1.5 per cent to 165.9 and seats per aircraft also increased.

Passenger numbers from emerging markets also rose, with a 17.6 per cent increase to Mexico, 14.9 per cent to China and 10.3 per cent to Brazil. Transfer passenger volumes increased by 2.9 per cent.

Heathrow is currently battling rival London airport Gatwick to win the government’s backing for expansion, which will allow it to grow and support new routes. A recent Populus poll showed that local support for a new runway was growing, with 49 per cent of residents backing the plans and 32 per cent opp­osing.

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