Both Heathrow and Gatwick airports have reported record traffic numbers for October, with cargo tonnage playing a major part in the increase.
Heathrow saw a 2.8 per cent growth in passenger numbers compared to October 2016, with more than 6.5 million travelling through the hub in October. The airport says this is its 12th consecutive record-breaking month and attributes the boost to larger, fuller aircraft flying in and out of the Middle East, as well as additional Flybe services.
The airport also reports October was its busiest ever month for cargo, with more than 150,000 metric tonnes being transported through Heathrow. Volume was up 9.2 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Meanwhile, Gatwick experienced 3.9 million passengers, up 1.4 per cent on October 2016 and boosted by a 13.3 per cent increase in long-haul traffic thanks to new routes to Cape Town, Kigali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chicago, Austin, Denver and Seattle. The airport says its direct connection to Hong Kong was one of the most popular routes in October, with 44 per cent more passengers utilising the route.
Gatwick says the rise comes despite the loss of Monarch passengers following the airline’s collapse. It says the carrier operated 4.5 per cent of its flights. Prior to Monarch’s failure, passenger growth averaged at 7.1 per cent per month.
Cargo tonnage at Gatwick was up 32.1 per cent compared to last year, seeing 10,316 metric tonnes transported through the airport.