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London Heathrow saw record passenger numbers in March

London HeathrowThe popularity of London’s Heathrow Airport seems to know no bounds as passenger numbers continue to rise, with a record 6.1 million people using the hub in March.

That represents a year on year increase of 2.5%, in part driven by a rise in numbers of people travelling to rapidly growing emerging markets such as China, Mexico, India and the Middle East. Meanwhile larger aircraft with bigger passenger capacity have also figured in the equation.

Regions and carriers

Airlines are increasing activity at Heathrow, with Emirates adding a sixth daily Dubai service in March. This route will also operate with its world-class A380 aircraft from July.

Passenger and cargo volume figures for East Asia were up 6% following the launch of Vietnam Airlines' services, after they switched their flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from Gatwick last year. British Airways' new flights to Kuala Lumpur also contributed to the increase and Garuda Indonesia began the UK's first direct services to Jakarta in March after waiting six years for slots at Heathrow.

Supercharge British trade

Heathrow Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, commented: “It's been a record March for Heathrow and I'm delighted that we've added the UK's first direct connection to Indonesia. As south-east Asia's largest economy, Garuda Indonesia's new route will be a significant boon for British SMEs looking for new export opportunities.”

Garuda Indonesia's patience may have paid off but there are more than 30 other airlines waiting for slots from Heathrow.

“With expansion, we can supercharge British trade by opening up 40 new long haul trading links with the fastest growing markets in the world,” Holland-Kaye added. “Let’s make it happen.”

Freight

As well as catering for business and leisure passengers, Heathrow is the UK's largest port and efforts are ongoing to encourage freight companies to operate more sustainably.

Improvements aimed at making the airport the most sustainable hub in the world include launching a new WebPortal aimed at consolidating freight loads. Ways of decreasing the amount of road vehicles around the airport are also being looked into in order to lower carbon emissions even more.

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Date Created: 14 April 2016

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