Heathrow says it still expects to surpass 81 million passengers this year, despite a sharp decline in traffic to and from its Asia Pacific region last month.
Asia Pacific passengers fell 3.2% in July, contributing to a 0.7% overall decline in Heathrow’s total passenger numbers to 7.75 million. EU traffic was down 1.8% and Latin America a further 1.4%.
However, total passenger numbers this year to date (31 July) are up 1.4% on last year at 46.5 million and 1.9% to 80.7 million for the 12 months to 31 July.
Heathrow said new summer flights to Newquay, the Isle of Man and Guernsey had contributed to a 3.6% growth in domestic passenger numbers for July, albeit at 447,000 representative only of 5.8% of the airport’s total traffic.
Chief executive John Holland-Kaye used Monday’s traffic update (12 August) to insist the airport’s proposed expansion via a third runway “will not come at a cost to the environment”, claiming growth would be managed sustainably before and after expansion, with the new runway expected to come into service by 2026.
“The master plan for the UK’s newest runway is set to be finalised within 18 months and it was great to see businesses up and down UK recently write to the new prime minister highlighting their support for this vital project and the need to get on and deliver it,” said Holland-Kaye.
“We are clear expansion at Heathrow will not come at a cost to the environment, which is why we are working with the industry and government to develop environmental targets that will ensure growth is managed sustainably both now and with expansion.”