in Aerospace

Heathrow ends year with busiest ever December

Posted 11 January 2024

Christmas and New Year festivities raised passenger numbers at Heathrow with more than 6.6 million travelling through the airport in December, bringing the total number of passengers up to 79 million in 2023.

Image courtesy Heathrow

Averaging at around 216,000 daily passengers last month, Heathrow's busiest day over the festive period was Friday 22nd  December, with almost 250,000 passing through the airport to reunite with loved ones in time for the holidays.
Forward planning and collaboration with airport partners ensured that 142,000 passengers travelling on the 25th December had smooth journeys, with nearly 800 flights arriving and departing on the airport's busiest Christmas day ever.
Transatlantic travel remained a key driver for passenger numbers with 1.6 million travelling to and from North America in December, as New York (JFK) clinched the top spot as Heathrow's most popular destination during last year, with over three million passengers in total.

It was also Terminal 5’s busiest year ever, surpassing 33 million passengers for the second time since opening 15 years ago and serving 2.6 million passengers in December alone.

Heathrow processed 133,277 tonnes of cargo in December, culminating in a total of over 1.43 million tonnes processed in 2023. This represents more than 2% growth compared with 2022, with traders and forwarders taking advantage of the airport's growing long-haul network to fly their goods around the world.

Highlighting Heathrow’s position as the fourth busiest airport globally, its routes with over a million passengers rose to 24 in 2023, with Boston and Geneva passing the milestone in December.*

Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye said: “As we move into the new year, I want to extend my sincere thanks to all our Team Heathrow colleagues and partners for their hard and successful work over the busy festive period, which went really well in terms of service and operations. By ending 2023 on a high, a strong foundation is laid for 2024 during which Heathrow will continue to grow and to facilitate the UK’s potential for global growth.”

*Full list of the 24 routes with over a million passengers in 2023, descending from highest passenger volume:  New York (JFK), Dubai (DXB), Qatar (DOH), Dublin (DUB), Los Angeles (LAX), Madrid (MAD), Amsterdam (AMS), Frankfurt (FRA), Delhi (DEL), Istanbul (IST), Munich (MUC), Hong Kong (HKG), Toronto (YYZ), Singapore (SIN), Zurich (ZRH), Mumbai (BOM), Chicago (ORD), California (SFO), Paris (CDG), New Jersey (EWR), Edinburgh (EDI), Lisbon (LIS), Boston (BOS), Geneva (GVA).





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