LHR sees 6m pax in January; presses case for tax-free shopping incentive

By Faye Bartle |

Photo: Heathrow Airport. 

Almost six million people travelled through Heathrow in January 2024, including 196,661 passengers on Blue Monday (15 January), which is thought to be ‘the most depressing day of the year’.

It marks a 9.4% increase on the number of passengers who travelled through the London hub in the same month last year – and a 23.5% uplift from February 2023 to January 2024.

Furthermore, a total of 122,255 tonnes of cargo passed through Heathrow in January.

While ‘exports are thriving’ at the hub, a statement issued along with the results on 11 February, says that ‘Britain has shut the door on home grown growth, turning away international shoppers through the tourist tax and tarnishing the UK’s reputation as a competitive country to spend and do business with’.

As reported, Heathrow has joined forces with the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses to make the case for an internationally competitive tax-free shopping incentive at the Spring Budget.

Heathrow January 2024

Heathrow Airport statistics, released 11 February 2024. Source: Heathrow Airport. 

“The year has got off to a strong start, retaining Heathrow’s crown as the best UK airport [in the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards],” said Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye.

“We are ready for the first passenger peak of the year, with February half term fast approaching.”

READ MORE: Roundtable and campaign takes aim at ‘tourist tax’

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