Heathrow bangs the drum for a third runway as July traffic rises

Marion Dakers
HEATHROW has claimed its 5.5 per cent rise in traffic during July highlights the need for a single hub airport in the UK.

Europe’s busiest airport by passenger numbers said it carried 6.9m people last month, which improved on 2012 partly due to last year’s pre-Olympics lull.

Routes to east Asia carried 18.9 per cent more passengers as airlines added flights, while traffic to Europe benefited from BA’s integration of smaller carrier BMI, rising 8.9 per cent.

While the airport’s two runways are all but full, the use of larger and fuller planes is allowing Heathrow to increase its passenger traffic.

“Our passenger figures underline the UK’s urgent need for a single hub airport with the capacity to meet the demand for links to emerging economies,” said Heathrow boss Colin Matthews.

The government’s Davies Commission is examining options for increasing the country’s air capacity, with a shortlist due within months and a decision in 2015.

Heathrow told the commission it wants to build a third runway, and potentially a fourth after 2040.

All three global airline alliances have said they would prefer to keep a base at Heathrow.