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London Heathrow had its busiest year ever in 2019 with 80.9million passengers using the airport

Revealed: Heathrow had its busiest year ever in 2019 with a record 80.9million passengers using the airport

  • Heathrow says passenger growth was down to availability of larger planes
  • The airport also had its busiest ever December welcoming 6.7million passengers 
  • UK services saw the biggest surge last month followed by flights to Middle East  

Heathrow Airport had its busiest year ever in 2019, new figures have revealed.

A record 80.9million passengers travelled through the hub, up from 80.1million in 2018, delivering the ninth consecutive year of growth.

The airport says that passenger growth was driven by the availability of larger aircraft.

Heathrow Airport, pictured, had its busiest year ever in 2019, new figures have revealed

Heathrow Airport, pictured, had its busiest year ever in 2019, new figures have revealed

In addition, 1.6 million metric tonnes of cargo also travelled through Heathrow, the UK's largest port by value, in 2019.

Meanwhile, Heathrow also had its busiest ever December last month, with more than 6.7million passengers using the airport during the festive season.

This figure was up 3.1 per cent compared to the same time last year and was also the strongest monthly increase in 2019.

According to the airport, UK services saw the most significant surge in December (10.6 per cent) because many passengers took advantage of Flybe's routes to Newquay and Guernsey during the holiday rush.

A record 80.9million passengers travelled through Heathrow, pictured, last year, up from 80.1million in 2018

A record 80.9million passengers travelled through Heathrow, pictured, last year, up from 80.1million in 2018

British Airways also increased the frequency and aircraft size for its Scottish flights, allowing even more passengers to take part in Hogmanay celebrations. 

Middle East routes grew in December by 7.3 per cent, likely boosted by football fans flying out to Qatar to watch Liverpool play in the Fifa Club World Cup.

They were followed by U.S routes, up 7.1 per cent that month, as many took advantage of new services to Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

However, passenger numbers were down to African destinations in December by four per cent and to locations in the Asia/Pacific region by 2.9 per cent.

Over 126,000 metric tonnes of cargo travelled through the airport last month. 

Heathrow also revealed that over the past decade, it has welcomed an additional 15million passengers - an increase of 18 per cent since 2010.

It says that this was facilitated by £12billion worth of private investment, which culminated in 'the opening of Terminal 2, which is now ranked by passengers as one of the best airport terminals in the world'.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: 'The past decade has been transformational for Heathrow and the investments that we've made in our infrastructure, our people and our processes are paying off for passengers. But it doesn't end there.

'By the end of this new decade of delivery, a third runway will have given Britain more hub capacity than our rivals in France or Germany, making this country a winner and the best-connected country in the world.

'Regular, direct flights to all the major cities in the US, India and China – the great economies of the 21st century – will put all of Britain at the heart of global trade and we look forward to delivering this economic growth in a way that aligns with the Committee on Climate Change's net-zero 2050 target.'

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