Heathrow becomes world's fourth busiest airport as UAE route popularity soars

London hub records 19 per cent increase in passengers over past year thanks to bumper October

Heathrow is now the world's fourth busiest airport, according to new data. Reuters
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Heathrow Airport has become the fourth busiest airport in the world, according to industry data analysts.

About 7 million passengers travelled through the west London airport last month, up 19 per cent from 5.9 million during the same month last year.

During the October half-term school holiday, 2.2 million passengers passed through Heathrow’s terminals, with Dubai, New York and Los Angeles among the most popular destinations.

Last month’s total was less than 1 per cent below the pre-pandemic figure from October 2019, the airport said, citing data from analytics provider OAG.

Figures provided to The National also showed the rising popularity of the to Abu Dhabi and Dubai routes in October.

Last month, 124 flights left Heathrow for Abu Dhabi International with 47,287 seats sold, above the 119 flights and 44,171 passengers recorded on the same month in 2019.

There were 286 London-Dubai flights, with 123,600 seats sold, last month. In October 2019, there were 271 flights and 117,874 seats sold.

There were 3,321 scheduled flights between Heathrow to Dubai and 1,446,313 seats in the past year; to Abu Dhabi there were 1,442 scheduled flights and 464,542 seats.

After reopening its borders, Hong Kong became Heathrow’s 12th route to pass one million passengers for the year.

Heathrow claimed the busy October “helped to prepare us for the peak season of festive travel ahead”.

New chief executive Thomas Woldbye said: “I’ve learnt a lot about Heathrow in my first few weeks, but one thing that really stands out to me is the passion and drive of colleagues to get people away smoothly on their journeys.”

Updated: November 14, 2023, 9:36 AM