· Britain back in business as August marks new Heathrow high
· British business is on the move again, helping Heathrow Airport record its busiest ever August.
· The UK’s only hub airport saw an extra 158,804 customers jet off last month as passenger numbers rose 2.5 percent to 6,542,496, compared with 6,383,692 during August 2009.
· Business travellers - who make up 35 percent of Heathrow’s customers - have played an in important part of the airport’s resilience this year.
· European destinations proved to be the biggest winners by region, as numbers grew by 232,858, rising by 10.4 percent against 2,248,940 travellers last year, fuelling hopes that Britain’s ‘staycation’ has come to an end.
· The most popular routes from Heathrow were New York JFK (244,000 passengers) , Dubai (165,000) and Dublin (139,000).
· Across the group, BAA’s UK airports handled 10,647,422 passengers during August, a slight dip of 0.6% from 10,706,402 people last year. A spate of travel company failures over the last couple of months has hindered recovery in some areas of the leisure market, with Heathrow’s hub status setting it apart from its sister airports.
· However, the air of positivity was underlined a 13.7 percent rise in cargo being transported from all of BAA’s UK airports (145,669 tonnes in August 2010, compared to 134,431 tonnes in August 2009).
· This will bring more relief to business leaders as it is a strong reflection of the wider international economy. With annual cargo tonnage
2.8 percent above its pre-recession peak (1.63m tonnes in the year to October 2008) , there are real signs that more positive times are ahead.
“Growth is certainly coming from regions closer to home and Europe is the hot destination this August. Comparing August 2010 vs. August 2009 growth in European accommodation bookings from the UK was more than 3 times the rate for the US and the Americas and the trend is even more pronounced for air travel,” Expedia.co.uk.
“August was a busy month but the increase in travel is applies to travel both at home and abroad: 3 of the top 10 destinations for hotel stays booked on Expedia.co.uk are in the UK with London topping the list,” Expedia.co.uk.