Heathrow enjoys busiest September on record

A marked recovery in the embattled air travel industry saw Heathrow enjoy its busiest September on record, airport giant BAA revealed today.

More than 6.2 million passengers flew from Heathrow last month, marking the highest ever seen for the month and a 7.6% hike on a year earlier.

BAA said much of the rise was driven by a bounce back in business travel as the global recovery picks up pace, with airlines also re-starting routes and schedules axed at the height of the recession.

The news follows recent encouraging passenger traffic reports from airlines, with British Airways last week revealing a 4.3% rise in passenger traffic last month - its first increase since February.

Low-cost rival easyJet also delivered some cheer from the budget sector, hiking profit expectations after a rise in the number of passengers travelling from the UK to beach destinations boosted sales in September.

BAA said traffic across all of its six UK airports - Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen - rose 3.3% year-on-year to 9.99 million last month.

A spokesman for the group said there was some evidence that travellers sought to take trips last month that had been cancelled earlier in the year due to the volcanic ash cloud crisis.

Heathrow's record performance also signals a pick-up in the long-haul market, with the recovering international economy seeing sharp increases in those flying to destinations such as China and Brazil.

The airport is also a major hub for flight connections, which means many passengers are passing through Heathrow on transfer flights.

Geneva, Rome and Dubai recorded the biggest leap in passenger numbers at Heathrow.

BAA added that further falls in passenger numbers at Stansted confirmed ongoing difficulties in the wider UK leisure travel market, with low-cost carriers continuing to cut flight capacity.

However, the decline in Stansted passenger numbers slowed from 6.1% in August to 4.3% in September.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, said: "Heathrow's record September figures underline that transport links are vital to our economy.

"The growth reflects an improved outlook for our airline customers and an increase in business confidence."

BAA sold Gatwick last October to US-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, which already owns London City Airport.

The Competition Commission ruled in 2009 that BAA must sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh, a decision that BAA successfully challenged on grounds of apparent bias. The Commission is preparing to take the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell