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Passenger numbers up at UK airports in November

Passenger numbers up at UK airports in November

A total of 5.4 million passengers passed through Heathrow in November 2013, up 0.6 per cent on the previous year, according to the latest statistics from the airport.

At the same time, London Gatwick saw 2.3 million passengers use the airport; an increase of 4.1 per cent or 91,500 passengers over the prior year.

Seats per aircraft increased 1.5 per cent at Heathrow, while load factors dropped 2.6 percentage points on last year, to 70.2 per cent.
Passengers per aircraft decreased 2.1 per cent to 142.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Passenger numbers grew less strongly in November than in previous months.

“Nevertheless continued good performance to BRIC countries underlines the importance of direct flights to growing economies.”

At Gatwick the growth in European routes to Continental Europe, Ireland and the Channel Islands continued with over 1.5 million passengers choosing to fly from the airport - an increase of 6.6 per cent over the prior year.

The majority of this growth was on flights to key business routes with destinations such as Moscow, Istanbul and Oslo adding over 85,000 passengers.

This was tempered by fewer passengers on charter flights to European leisure destinations, reflecting the longer-term market move towards scheduled, low cost airlines.

Load factors - showing how full the average flight was - were at 80.4 per cent, in line with the prior year.

Nick Dunn, chief financial officer, London Gatwick, said: “Gatwick has the largest short haul network of any UK airport and we have continued to see growth on these routes in November, with over 1.5 million passengers travelling to destinations in Continental Europe, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

“Business routes are performing particularly strongly, especially to high growth markets such as Russia, Turkey and Vietnam, as well as more established markets including Dubai and Scandinavia.”