Frequent fliers keep flocking to London airports

London Luton (LLA) and Heathrow airports yesterday reported strong passenger growth figures for July.

Luton Airport achieved its sixteenth consecutive month of growth, with its 1.3m passengers a 16.5 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Heathrow served over 250,000 passengers on a single day three times in July, growing its total number of passengers for the month to 7.29m in the process, an increase of 4.7 per cent on the previous year.

Gatwick, Stansted and London City airport have also reported a growth in passenger numbers for July, with 4.3m passengers passing through Gatwick alone during the month.

LLA is currently in the process of investing £100m in a complete redesign of its terminal in order to increase annual capacity from 12m to 18 m by 2026.

Nick Barton, chief executive of LLA, said: “We are on track for a record-breaking summer. The continuing growth in passenger numbers makes our... redevelopment project essential to the role LLA plays in easing capacity issues in the South East of England.”

Cargo volumes at Heathrow have grown by 3.2 per cent over the past 12 months, with increases to notable emerging markets including 41.3 per cent to Mexico and 26.3 per cent to Turkey.

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: “With expansion, we can add connections to new markets, opening up the lucrative trade routes that will secure British prosperity over the coming decades.”

Gatwick’s numbers, announced on Monday, led the airport to renew its claims to be the natural choice for expansion of London’s air capacity after the Airport Commission spurned it in favour of Heathrow.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief executive, said the results were “further proof of the flaws in the Airport Commission’s analysis and shows its conclusions are fast unravelling”.

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