Heathrow hails ‘smooth’ half-term operations as pax numbers soar 81%

By Kristiane Sherry |

Heathrow says it has shown it is prepared for the Easter getaway after a smooth half-term. IMAGE: Heathrow Airport

London’s Heathrow Airport clocked the busiest single day at Terminal 5 since Christmas 2019 during the recent February half-term break, with reported overall customer satisfaction scores close to pre-pandemic levels.

Over 5.2 million passengers travelled through the airport during February 2023, with the peak day falling on 26 February, when over 94,000 people travelled through Terminal 5. 

Departures punctuality hit the highest consistency for the last 12 months, with 98% of passengers through security in less than 10 minutes for the second consecutive month. 

The top destinations for holidaymakers were Dubai, New York and Madrid, while the East Asian market saw eight times as many passengers compared to February 2022.  

Total ear-on-year passenger traffic climbed 181.7% in total, with Asia Pacific (+169.3%), North America (+107.8%), and the EU (+91%) the fastest-growing regions. 

“The February half term went very smoothly, thanks to a great plan and teamwork across the airport,” said John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO. 

“This should give everyone confidence that we are prepared for a successful Easter getaway.” 

More broadly, total air transport movements hit 32,503 for the month of February, an increase of 61.9% year-on-year.

However cargo volumes shrank 6.1% to 105,255, mirroring declines reported around the world.

Last month, Heathrow revealed its passenger numbers trebled to 62 million in 2022 – a growth rate unmatched by any other airport in the world last year.

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