Heathrow passenger traffic up by a fifth in July after Asia travel boost

London airport's footfall surges to near pre-pandemic levels

Heathrow bosses said 7.7 million passengers travelled through the airport in July, compared with 7.8 million in July 2019. PA
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Heathrow Airport, the largest in the UK, reported it handled 7.7 million passengers in July, a sign of a significant revival in international travel.

It is a 22 per cent increase from the 6.3 million passengers that passed through the airport in the same month last year, and just shy of the 7.8 million passengers recorded in July 2019, before the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic.

A significant portion of the surge in July's passenger traffic is attributed to an increase in the number of flights to and from Asia, a remarkable 129 per cent increase, and North America, with a 77 per cent rise.

Travel to these regions was significantly curtailed the previous year, primarily because pandemic restrictions in the two destination regions were in effect for a longer duration compared with other parts of the globe.

Heathrow also noted that July set a record for the number of passengers travelling to Turkey, with more than 73,000 choosing this destination.

There were also near-historic levels of flights headed for Portugal, Italy, and Gibraltar for the month.

The West London airport expressed satisfaction with its operational performance, revealing a “strong start to the summer season for passenger service”.

In addition, security checks have been efficient, with queues averaging “consistently under five minutes”.

Heathrow's chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, commented on the positive trends: “It's great to see so many passengers getting away to grab some summer sun.

“We've got a great range of popular destinations, and our teams are delivering excellent service which will ensure your travels get off to the best start.”

In July, Heathrow processed almost a quarter of a million passengers daily.

While there was a marked 21.4 per cent increase in passenger numbers compared with 2020, the numbers are still slightly below pre-pandemic counts.

Heathrow's vibrant animal transit

Heathrow Airport isn't just a hub for millions of human passengers.

Every year, a vast array of animals, from snakes and starfish to dogs and horses, pass through its gates.

The Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, managed by the City of London Corporation, ensures these creatures are properly cared for during their transit, with adherence to the Pet Travel Scheme for seamless, quarantine-free travel.

Updated: August 11, 2023, 10:13 AM