Flying start to 2019 for London's major airports

New figures published today show that Heathrow passenger numbers in May reached a record year-on-year high. Over 6.7m passengers passed through the UK's busiest airport in May, making it the 31st month of consecutive record growth.

According to the figures for May released by Heathrow, Oceania was the best performing region (up 10.8) as Qantas flew fuller aircraft, while East Asia was up by 10.7 per cent as a result of new routes to China and Japan. Domestic traffic also grew by 2.2 per cent.

The number of passengers using Heathrow airport in the calendar year to date also reached its highest ever level. In total, 31.5m passengers travelled via Heathrow's four passenger terminals in the first five months of the year, over 500K more than in the same period last year.

Figures released by London Gatwick earlier this year also showed that LGW achieved its busiest-ever start to a year in the first quarter of calendar year 2019. In total, passenger numbers grew by 4 per cent in the year to the end of March 2019 versus the same period last year, reaching 9.7m travellers.

Commenting on the performance, Ian Bell, head of travel and tourism at RSM said: 'Despite all the fears around the impact of Brexit on passenger numbers, the evidence so far suggests demand is as strong as ever, with both of the nation's busiest airports having a storming start to the year. Both will be hoping that this momentum can be sustained during the all-important summer months.'