London Heathrow Airport claims to have grown more than any other airport in the world last year.

Passenger numbers in 2022 trebled to 62 million, as borders reopened in March after two years of closures which were tougher in the UK than in other major markets.

This increase alone was equivalent to fitting virtually all of Frankfurt’s 2022 passengers into Heathrow.

Service is getting back to pre-pandemic levels, Heathrow says. Over 25,000 people have started work at Heathrow in the last 18 months and resource levels are now close to pre-pandemic levels.

London Heathrow Airport grows

The focus is now on improving skills, experience and building resilience, Heathrow says.

Annual losses reduced from £1.27 billion to £684 million, but inflation, lower passenger numbers and insufficient regulated charges impacted underlying profitability.

Heathrow says it is making good progress on decarbonising global aviation. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will play a critical role in decarbonising the sector and the airport has created a £38 million incentive scheme to encourage airlines to switch out kerosene for SAF – making Heathrow one of world’s largest users of SAF.

This year they have tripled their SAF target, and later this year Virgin Atlantic will operate the first 100 per cent SAF-powered transatlantic flight from Heathrow to New York.

Year of recovery

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “2022 may have been a year of recovery, but 2023 is shaping up to be a year of renewal for Heathrow. Our teams have already delivered a successful Christmas and half-term getaway, and with a great investment plan in place, we are determined to once again rank in the top 10 airports for service.

“I couldn’t be prouder of how far Team Heathrow has come in my nine years as CEO – from transforming customer service, to securing Parliamentary approval for expansion to surviving two years of border closures and rebuilding the business. My successor will take on a fantastic team who are making Heathrow a world leading hub that Britain can be proud of.”
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