Champions League final helps push up London airport traffic

Marion Dakers
THREE of London’s airports reported an uptick in passenger numbers for May yesterday, with the school holidays and Champions League football boosting traffic.

Heathrow said 6.1m passengers passed through last month, up 4.7 per cent on a year ago. The average plane was 74.7 per cent full, carrying 152 passengers – a rise of 1.1 percentage points on last year.

Europe’s busiest airport said the use of larger planes has helped improve its traffic figures.

Freight traffic was down 4.3 per cent, a decline that has been reflected across the sector.

Gatwick said its 7.8 per cent rise in total passenger numbers to 3.2m was aided by the half-term break falling earlier this year, coupled with the Champions League final bringing tens of thousands of German football fans to Wembley.

Gatwick’s load factor rose 2.6 percentage points to 82 per cent. A rise in European passengers offset a slump in transatlantic traffic and a 0.9 per cent fall in domestic flights.

London City broke its daily, weekly and monthly traffic records in May, carrying 315,514 passengers.