Heathrow passengers soar to record as US traffic rises

HEATHROW was used by more air passengers in July than in any previous month, with 6.9m people passing through the airport, owner BAA said yesterday.

Passenger numbers were up 2.5 per cent on the same period a year ago, as long haul flights, particularly to and from the US, fuelled the rise.

BAA’s three Scottish airports – Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – all saw increases in passenger numbers, but Stansted’s numbers fell 7.2 per cent. For BAA as a whole, passenger numbers rose 0.8 per cent to 11m.

Other long-haul flights, including to the North Atlantic and North Africa, helped compensate for a 7.2 per cent drop in domestic traffic.

Traffic to Brazil alone showed an 80 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Heathrow’s unique role in linking the UK to the world’s emerging markets is vital to Britain’s economic recovery.

“Heathrow’s performance was also good news for the thousands of families setting off on their summer holiday.” BAA said the introduction of family lanes in queues and improved facilities overall had helped.