The UK’s largest airport London Heathrow catered for six million passengers in August as its recovery was held back by its self-imposed cap on passenger numbers.
Heathrow’s figure of 6.04 million passengers last month was down on the 7.7 million passengers who used the airport in August 2019. Although this was still a 171 per cent increase on the traffic that Heathrow handled in August 2021.
The airport has imposed a 100,000 daily cap on departing passengers since 12 July, which has now been extended to 29 October, as it struggles to recruit enough staff to deal with increased traveller numbers.
The move has forced airlines, particularly British Airways, to cut back their originally intended schedules for the summer 2022 season and the airline also had to suspend sales of last-minute short-haul flights for two weeks during August.
Passengers travelling to and from North America have seen the largest increase so far this year, up by 800 per cent in the first eight months of the year, following the lifting of the US travel ban in November 2021. A total of 1.6 million passengers travelled between Heathrow and North America in August, which compares to 1.8 million passengers in August 2019.
The total number of flights to and from Heathrow was up by 78.5 per cent year-on-year to just under 34,000 during August. This was down from around 42,000 flights in August 2019.