Heathrow Airport in London welcomed a record 6.1 million passengers in March, up 2.5 per cent on March 2015.
Larger, quieter, fuller aircraft continued to be a driver for growth in passenger volumes.
Fast-growing emerging markets continued to contribute increased passenger volumes, including to China (which was up 12 per cent), Mexico (up six per cent), India (up four per cent) and the Middle East, which was up nine per cent as carriers continued to benefit from new aircraft including A380s.
Emirates added a sixth daily Dubai service in March following a slot transfer and from July will operate the service with its world-class A380.
East Asia continues to perform strongly, with both passenger and cargo volumes up six per cent in part following the launch of Vietnam Airlines’ services and increase in frequency to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City after switching from Gatwick last year and British Airways’ new flights to Kuala Lumpur.
After six years of seeking slots at the UK’s only hub, Garuda Indonesia began the UK’s first direct services to Jakarta in March.
The new services offer improved and more convenient access for British SMEs to south-east Asia’s largest economy.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “It’s been a record March for Heathrow and I’m delighted that we’ve added the UK’s first direct connection to Indonesia.
“As south-east Asia’s largest economy, Garuda Indonesia’s new route will be a significant boon for British SMEs looking for new export opportunities.
“But it isn’t just Indonesia waiting to access the UK’s only hub – there is a queue of over 30 airlines waiting for slots from Heathrow.
“With expansion, we can supercharge British trade by opening up 40 new long haul trading links with the fastest growing markets in the world.
“Let’s make it happen.”
Heathrow continues to drive improvements to make the airport the most sustainable hub in the world – launching a new WebPortal aimed at consolidating freight loads, and decreasing the amount of trucks and emissions on roads around the airport.
As the UK’s largest port, Heathrow is aiming to encourage freight companies to operate more sustainably.