Heathrow flies to new record of 77 million passengers despite capacity constraints as it waits on expansion

 
Rebecca Smith
Going up - for now
Going up - for now (Source: Getty)

Heathrow has managed to fly to a fresh high for passenger numbers last month, despite its capacity constraints.

The London airport welcomed 6.76m passengers in June, a 2.3 per cent rise on last year, taking the total number of passengers travelling through Heathrow in the past year to 77m for the first time. It also notched up a daily record with 259,917 passengers flying through on 30 June, marking its busiest day ever.

Read more: More runways needed for London airports' capacity crunch, say businesses

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye took the opportunity to underline the importance of growth at the airport with the development of a new third runway.

He said:

To keep Britain competitive, we need expansion to build more connections for British passengers and exporters and we are glad to see the government pushing forward on the next stages of the delivery.

Together we are showing the world the UK remains open for business.

The airport lost its crown as the top European airport for direct connectivity to Amsterdam's Schiphol last month, predominantly due to a lack of airport capacity, according to ACI Europe.

London's biggest airport got the go-ahead for a third runway from the government back in October, and Lord Adonis, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, has named it one of the 12 most pressing infrastructure priorities that ministers need to make "rapid progress" on within the next year.

While question marks were raised over the omission of a Heathrow mention from the Queen's speech, transport secretary Chris Grayling reaffirmed the government's commitment to the airport's expansion in an interview with the BBC last month. He said there was "wide support for expanding Heathrow across the parties in Westminster".

And Heathrow said today that it was continuing to develop its plans to improve passenger experience, reduce the impact on local communities, and lower the cost to deliver expansion at close to current charges.

Earlier this month the airport also announced it had reached a deal with the department for transport and Transport for London for Elizabeth Line services to come to Terminal 5 from 2019.

It's official: Crossrail is coming to Heathrow Terminal 5

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