Heathrow and Gatwick fly to new heights as the London rivals both announce a record February

Lian Parsons
No Brexit blues in sight for the capital's airports
No Brexit blues in sight for the capital's airports (Source: Gatwick)

February has been a bustling month for London’s two largest airports, as both Gatwick and Heathrow reached record-breaking passenger numbers. Again.

Gatwick Airport recorded its busiest-ever February, as three million passengers used it, up 9.9 per cent from the same month last year.

Once more, long-haul routes proved a key area of growth, soaring 20.3 per cent, while cargo increased by six per cent.

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Travel via the North Atlantic climbed by 53.1 per cent, the most dramatic increase of the available routes.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer of Gatwick Airport, said the numbers reflected resilient passenger confidence after uncertainty from the EU referendum.

He said:

Gatwick’s February passenger figures demonstrate the confidence we are witnessing from our passengers, with travel still high priority following the Brexit referendum, with passenger numbers up 10 per cent on February 2016.

Heathrow Airport also experienced its best February performance to date, with a record 5.27m passengers, up 5.5 per cent from 2016.

The greatest increase in travel was to the Middle East, by 10.6 per cent. However, travel within the UK dropped by 8.2 per cent.

Cargo also increased by 3.2 per cent.

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Heathrow chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow is off to a flying start in 2017 – we’re delivering the best service of any major airport in Europe to record numbers of passengers and boosting British exports with record cargo volumes. Our new sustainability leadership strategy will make Heathrow a centre of excellence for sustainable aviation and planning for expansion is firmly underway with SMEs across Britain lining up to help us deliver it.”

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