Heathrow ‘back to its best’ in August, chief executive claims

The boss of Heathrow claimed that the airport is “back to its best” as 7.5 million passengers were handled in August – up from just over 6 million in the same month last year.

Numbers are expected to recover to exceed pre-Covid levels this month although annual figures will remain below pre-pandemic figures as a result of industrial action in 2019 which dampened demand.

The London hub claimed that passenger satisfaction in August was higher than pre-pandemic, reflecting investment the airport, airlines and ground handlers have made in recruiting and training more than 25,000 new staff in the last two years. 

“This extra resilience meant that while flights at Heathrow were impacted by the UK-wide air traffic restrictions in August, operations quickly returned to normal,” a statement said. 

“Security wait times averaged only 1.5 minutes in August. Passengers checked in more bags than ever before, and our baggage support team went the extra mile to help airline handlers get bags away on time.”

The majority of passengers at 2.5 million flew to countries in the European Union, with almost two million travelling to North America.

Heathrow now has more flights to more destinations in China than any other European hub. 

South American carrier Latam has also confirmed the UK’s only direct service to Lima in Peru will take off from Heathrow on December 1.

Outgoing chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “I am very proud of the way colleagues across ‘team Heathrow’ made sure that passengers had a super start to their summer holidays, with record levels of passenger satisfaction and average security queue times of less than two minutes – Heathrow is back to its best.”

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