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Record breaking times for London’s Heathrow and Stansted airports


London’s Heathrow and Stansted airports have set new traffic records – the former for handling 81.5 million passengers in a 12 month period, and Stansted for experiencing its busiest ever May.

Heathrow’s milestone was reached as the UK hub welcomed 7.2 million passengers last month, the first time May traffic has ever exceeded seven million. While Stansted says that a bumper half-term holiday week proved the catalyst for it recording an all-time high of 2.7 million passengers in May.

As a result of May’s throughput, Stansted’s 12-month rolling total to the end of May stood at 28.8 million passengers, an increase of 9.8% on the previous year.

May’s significant upturn in traffic indicates that both airports will experience busy summers, with Heathrow forecasting that it could handle a record 30 million passengers.

Couple standing in Terminal 2, chatting to a male helper.

Heathrow CEO, Thomas Woldbye, said: “We have a winning team at Heathrow which has proven that we have put COVID firmly behind us.

“Thanks to their extraordinary efforts we are now giving record numbers of people the chance to connect smoothly with the world. Supporting 81 million journeys doesn’t just help families to make wonderful holiday memories, importantly it is about the vital trade and business links a hub like Heathrow creates for the UK’s economy.”

While Stansted’s finance director, James Richardson, enthused: “London Stansted’s fantastic range of destinations, and reliable and efficient airport operation continues to drive strong demand as we welcomed 2.7 million passengers to the airport in May.

“The record-breaking numbers were boosted by a very busy half-term week as hundreds of thousands of Brits headed off on holiday as well as huge numbers of overseas visitors choosing the airport as their gateway to London and the East of England.

“We were also delighted to see the return of British Airways to Stansted during the month with the launch of three exciting new services which I’m sure will prove very popular with passengers looking to head off to Ibiza, Nice and Florence this summer.

“Ahead of the main summer getaway, we expect this month to be yet another busy period for the airport. We have already played host to thousands of football fans arriving for the Champions League final at Wembley earlier this month, and we are now preparing to welcome even more fans to Stansted as they head off to Euro 2024 thanks to the 10 direct services available to Germany.”

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