Heathrow Airport has reported a strong start to 2018 after welcoming 5.8 million passengers through its doors in January.
Like-for-like passenger volumes were up 1.1% on 2017 and January marked the 15th consecutive record month for the airport.
Domestic flights were a key driver of growth, with UK flights up 6.9% in the first month of 2018, following the increased uptake of Flybe’s offering. South Asia and Latin America also saw remarkable growth, up 11.3% and 6.9% respectively
Freight travelling through Heathrow also reached record levels for the start of the year, as over 133,000 tonnes made its way through the airport in January, with export volumes growing by 10.6%. The top destinations for cargo growth were the US (1,214t), Spain (1,070t) and China (966t).
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway. Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.”
As the Prime Minister set off for a trade mission to China in January, research carried out by New Frontier Economics revealed that direct flights from Heathrow to China contribute £510m per year in GDP to the UK economy and create 14,550 jobs.
An additional flight a week on each existing connection, facilitated through Heathrow’s expansion, could generate an additional £16m to GDP.