LONDON – On July 11, the United Kingdom’s major capital airport, London Heathrow (LHR), released its June 2022 passenger traffic figures.
40 Years of Growth in Four Months?
To start things off, nearly six million passengers traveled through Heathrow during the month of June, or more specifically, 5,990,000 million.
In the last six months alone, this has brought their total to 25 million passengers, and in just the last four months, the growth has matched numbers that took place over the last 40 years.
In terms of this latest figure broken down by markets for passenger totals, it is as follows –
- United Kingdom – 320,000
- European Union (EU) – 2,252,000
- Non-EU Europe – 400,000
- Africa – 209,000
- North America – 1,668,000
- Latin America – 137,000
- Middle East – 541,000
- Asia / Pacific – 463,000
- Total – 5,990,000
In terms of this latest figure broken down by markets for air traffic, it is as follows –
- United Kingdom – 2,530
- European Union (EU) – 15,993
- Non-EU Europe – 2,791
- Africa – 1,007
- North America – 7,331
- Latin America – 589
- Middle East – 2,092
- Asia / Pacific – 2,363
- Total – 34,696
In terms of this latest figure broken down by markets for cargo in metric tonnes, it is as follows –
- United Kingdom – 21
- European Union (EU) – 8,346
- Non-EU Europe – 3,312
- Africa – 6,427
- North America – 42,542
- Latin America – 3,576
- Middle East – 20,444
- Asia / Pacific – 27,888
- Total – 112,555
Heathrow has found that rebuilding its capacity has been a challenge since restarting recruitment back in November 2021, however, despite the challenges they have faced, they expect that by the end of July they will have the same total of security staff as they had pre-pandemic.
They are also happy that they have still been able to provide a good level of service for the vast majority of passengers that travel through Heathrow, but in recent weeks they have struggled with long queue times, delays for passengers with mobility issues as well as luggage not traveling with passengers and/or arriving late, and as such the airport has apologized for this.
As part of trying to minimize further disruption, both the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and DfT (Department for Transport) have asked airlines to review their summer flight schedules, as well as asking airports to implement a slot amnesty to encourage airlines to remove flights from their summer schedule without incurring a penalty.
Heathrow has said that they will carefully assess if the airlines’ reviewed schedules will help achieve their number one priority of getting passengers away safely and reliably.
They are also still assessing the CAA’s latest H7 regulatory period and will provide further comments on this in due course.
Commenting on their latest announcement, Heathrow’s Chief Executive Officer, John Holland-Kaye, has said, “Last month, we saw exponential growth in passenger numbers as nearly six million people got away – the equivalent of 40 years of growth in just four months.”
“I am very proud of the way that our team is rising to the challenge of growth and giving excellent service to the vast majority of passengers. However, we have already seen times recently when demand exceeds the capacity of the airport, airlines, and ground handlers.”
“We will review the schedule changes that airlines have submitted in response to the government’s requirement to minimize disruption for passengers this summer and will ask them to take further action if necessary. We want everyone who is traveling through Heathrow to be confident that they will have a safe and reliable journey.”
Despite Heathrow’s best efforts to try and combat the dire delay situation that some passengers have experienced, they have still many challenges ahead to find solutions for in order to improve the situation, as demand still continues to rapidly grow.
It will also be interesting to see Heathrow’s further response to the H7 proposal from the CAA on where this will leave passengers and airport growth.