Heathrow Airport

Record August for London airports

Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all reached new highs in August as passenger numbers and trade soared.

Heathrow rounded off a record summer after welcoming 7.5 million passengers in August.

It was Heathrow’s best-ever August – up 2% on last year – and the second busiest month in the airport’s history.

UK destinations saw 6% passenger growth on the back of recently launched Flybe flights to Scotland.

Middle Eastern destinations were also popular with travellers with fuller aircraft leading to a 7% increase in passengers to the region.

CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Demand to travel from Heathrow has never been stronger - every day we’re welcoming record numbers of passengers to Heathrow with modern British hospitality and our trade with the rest of the world is growing in the double-digits. Heathrow is firing on all cylinders and showing the world our country is open for business.” 

Cargo flowing through the UK’s largest port also climbed 13% to 139,000 tonnes making August the 13th consecutive record month for cargo volumes at Heathrow.

London Stansted also recorded its best ever month on record after welcoming over 2.7 million passengers in August.

During the month Stansted broke the record for its busiest single day for the second month running as 94,785 passengers passed through the terminal on 14 August. The top 10 busiest ever days at Stansted are now all recorded in July and August this year.

Stansted Airport’s commercial director, Martin Jones, said: "The main summer holiday period saw London Stansted welcome more passengers than at any other time in the airport’s history as over 7.6 million people took to the skies to take advantage of the 190 destinations on offer across our extensive route network.

“The summer schedule was boosted by new flights and holidays from jet2.com plus more passengers than ever flying with Ryanair. Long-haul flights to destinations such as Orlando and Cancun also proved popular.

“This record breaking growth highlights more passengers than ever are choosing Stansted as their gateway to and from the eastern region and London, and we are working hard to add even more choice and new routes.”

Cargo volumes also continued to rise at Stansted with more than 21,500 tonnes of goods passing through the airport in August, up 1.4% over the same month last year. The annual total increased by 4.0% over the previous 12 months to over 259,400 tonnes for the period.

London Gatwick has achieved the busiest school summer holidays in its history with 8.1 million passengers travelling through the airport over the seven-week period. This is a 2.1% increase on 2016 and the first time Gatwick has ever reached the eight million passengers mark during the summer break.

This August alone, 4.9 million passengers travelled through Gatwick resulting in the biggest month in the airport’s history.

CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick has just had its biggest-ever month during its busiest-ever summer holiday period -this clearly demonstrates the passenger demand for the growing global connectivity offered by Gatwick.

"Later this year, we’ll be further adding to our more than 60 long-haul connections with routes to Denver, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Taipei and Singapore starting.

“As well, we continue to focus on delivering the best passenger experience at the airport with Jamie Oliver opening his new Diner in the South Terminal and an expanded World Duty Free store also arriving in the North.

“Service has been at the forefront of our summer. We have worked closely with our airlines and ground handlers to help ensure that more planes depart on time and I am pleased with the improvement we’ve made during our busiest ever summer.

“As Gatwick continues to grow beyond 45 million annual passengers, we remain ready and willing to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the Government give us the green light.”