The number of passengers passing through Heathrow’s terminals hit a record high of 5.6 million in December as demand for European, Middle East and east Asian flights soared.
It took the total number of fliers using the country’s busiest airport to nearly 70 million in 2012. Heathrow said the 2 per cent growth in passengers in December on the previous year echoed the fortunes of the global economy. North America, which accounts for around a quarter of Heathrow’s traffic, was the main driver, rising 3.2 per cent in 2012. Europe, which makes up around 40 per cent of traffic and is Heathrow’s largest market, grew just 0.5 per cent last year.
Other airports in the group formerly known as BAA had mixed fortunes: Glasgow and Aberdeen airports saw passenger numbers rise by 4.2 per cent and 8.3 per cent across the 12 months, but Southampton had a 3.9 per cent decline to 1.7 million.