Heathrow Airport revealed the number of passengers in March hit its highest level since the start of the pandemic.
After the government scrapped all travel restrictions earlier this year, enthusiasm to travel rebounded strongly, the airport said this morning.
Demand was being driven by “outbound leisure at weekends and during school holidays, as Brits make the most of the freedom to travel and cash in vouchers from trips cancelled during Covid,” Heathrow said.
The airport said there had been some 670m UK terminal passengers in the period between January and March 2022, with 280m alone in March.
According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, March reported the highest number of departures – 13,741 – in two years.
With 7,479 flights British Airways was the largest airline last month and was followed by Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus, with 686 and 456 respectively.
Inbound leisure and business travel were still weak due to high Covid levels in the UK and a requirement to test before returning home, the hub added.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “It is fantastic to see the airport coming back to life after two years, and I want to thank all Team Heathrow colleagues for working together to serve our passengers. Everyone at Heathrow is doing everything we can to make sure passengers get on their way as smoothly and safely as possible.”
The Staines-based airport has hit the headlines in recent weeks as flight cancellations have caused mayhem after airline crew shortages and exceptional levels of demand.
Cirium data has predicted that over Easter Heathrow’s traffic levels will reach 86 per cent of 2019 levels, while April’s flights are expected to rise a further 24 per cent in April.
The airport said it was “increasing resources as fast as possible,” with 12,000 new starters planned in preparation for a very busy summer peak travel period.
Heathrow is not the only UK hub to have rebounded well from the pandemic.
London City said last week March had been its most successful month since the pandemic’s begin, as 189,000 passenger passed through its gate last month.