Heathrow looks back on record 2018

The operator of London Heathrow Airport, Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), has said that 2018 was a record year for the UK’s biggest and busiest air gateway.

As well as handling a record number of passengers (80.1m), it also enjoyed an increase in revenue and profits compared to 2017.

However, the picture was less rosy for freight. Last month (January), the airport operator confirmed that it registered just a 0.1% increase in cargo volumes last year.

The London hub processed 1.7m tonnes of cargo during 2018, with North American volumes making up 600,000 tonnes and connections with the Asia Pacific region second with 510,000 tonnes.

That small improvement was well down on the 10.2% increase in cargo volumes Heathrow enjoyed in 2017.

There was other good news last year, however. New routes were launched, for example – Heathrow doubled its Chinese connections in 2018, adding six new cities, including Europe’s only flight to Shenzhen.

“These new services helped to push global trade flowing through Heathrow,” the operator confirmed.

The year also saw further progress in its masterplan for expansion, including the building of a new runway.

HAL expects to release detailed plans for further consultation in June, and said it remains on track to submit a planning application in 2020.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, commented: “2018 was the best ever year at Heathrow,” also confirming that, “We remain on track to open the new runway in 2026.”