New chapter for Heathrow as Thomas Woldbye marks first day as hub’s CEO

By Faye Bartle |

Thomas Woldbye, CEO, Heathrow

Woldbye champions passenger service, sustainability and growth.

Thomas Woldbye has officially taken over as Heathrow CEO this morning, following the departure of former CEO John Holland-Kaye.

His arrival marks a new chapter for the hub after a decade of transformation – and there are big plans for the future.

As new CEO, Thomas will oversee the airport’s multi-billion-pound plans to upgrade existing facilities over the next three years to provide an ‘even better’ service for passengers, including the next generation security programme and new baggage system for Terminal 2.

“The UK already has a hub airport that is the envy of much of the world,” said Woldbye.

“As I spend my first days getting to know the colleagues and Team Heathrow partners who make it a success, I’m looking for how we can make Heathrow even better for our customers and the British economy.

“It’s humbling to have the opportunity to take on the challenge and I’m excited to get started.”

Thomas Woldbye, CEO, Heathrow

Woldbye was previously CEO of Copenhagen Airport since May 2011.

In addition to his first day activities, Woldbye will spend the coming weeks getting to know stakeholders and hearing their thoughts on how to further improve the airport.

“It has been a privilege to lead the very talented team which in less than a decade transformed Heathrow into a hub airport that the whole nation can be proud of,” remarked John Holland-Kaye in September.

“We have built a solid legacy for my successor: Heathrow is now a customer service business with a clear path to net zero by 2050 and a plan to grow and to connect all of Britain to global growth.”

Heathrow September 2023 results

Credit: Heathrow Airports.

A total of 7 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in September, the first month since February 2020 to exceed 2019 traffic levels. Passenger service levels were also ahead of 2019.

It builds on positive H1 2023 results, recording just over 37 million passengers for the six months ended 30 June 2023. However, overall passenger numbers still remain consistently below pre-pandemic levels, with the cost of living crisis highlighted as a material headwind for second-half demand.

Heathrow Airport recently won the Best Airport Commercial Promotion 2023 award (sponsored by Perfetti Van Melle) for the Hacienda Patrόn: Heathrow Terminal 5 activation at the consumer-voted Travel Retail Awards in Cannes.

READ MORE: Winners revealed: Global Travel Retail Awards 2023

READ MORE: Heathrow revenues climb 36% in H1 2023 but pax numbers still suppressed

READ MORE: LHR welcomes UK Parliament debate on ‘tourist tax’

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