Heathrow reports busiest day since Christmas 2019 on half term getaway and lifting of Asia covid restrictions
Heathrow Airport has exceeded pre-pandemic passenger levels for the first time since coronavirus, thanks to the February half-term rush and lifting of restrictions in east Asia.
The good news was fuelled by a late getaway last month as millions of Brits took the chance to escape freezing Britain for some sun.
Figures from the airport showed that 26 February was the busiest single day in Terminal 5 since Christmas 2019 with over 94,000 passengers passing through.
The airport said there had been 5.195m pass through in February, with passenger satisfaction close to pre-pandemic levels.
Heathrow also said departure punctuality was as its most consistent for the last 12 months, with 98 per cent of passengers through security in under 10 minutes.
The east Asian markets were particularly strong following the lifting of restrictions by China and Hong Kong in particular. There was a 169 per cent change in passenger levels for February, the airport reported.
The West London hub said February included eight times as many passengers for east Asia compared to the same time last year.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “The February half term went very smoothly, thanks to a great plan and teamwork across the airport.
“This should give everyone confidence that we are prepared for a successful Easter getaway.”
This comes after Heathrow was in the eye of a storm of a row over landing fees, after the Civil Aviation Authority fixed its price cap.
Virgin Atlantic accused the airpots of “abusing its power” while it, and flagship carrier British Airways, said they’d consider their options.
In February, Heathrow reported that it had narrowed its losses, with underlying pre-tax losses of £684m for last year, against losses of £1.3bn in covid-affected 2021.