76 million passengers make 2016 a Heathrow record


By Heathrow

Published 11th January 2017

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Heathrow welcomed 76 million passengers in 2016, or the equivalent of 3 full Millenium Stadiums of people every day, results released today have revealed. The record was set in a year that also saw Heathrow celebrate its 70th birthday and cargo via the UK’s hub increase to over 1.5 million tonnes of cargo.

The 76 million passengers (+1%) equates to a daily average of 206,800 people travelling through the airport every day. These passengers were travelling via 81 different airlines in 2016, to 194 destinations, across 82 countries.

Over 1.5 million metric tonnes of cargo (+3) travelled alongside these passengers. In perspective, that annual cargo amount is the weight equivalent of 118,000 London buses, some 7,500 Angels of the North or nearly 30 fully-loaded Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner.

Triple Skytrax celebration highlights award-winning year

Heathrow’s passenger and cargo successes were recognised through numerous awards through the year including Skytrax’s “Best Airport in Western Europe” (2nd time), “Best Airport for Shopping”, and “World’s Best Airport Terminal” (Terminal 5 – 5th time).

Larger, quieter and more efficient aircraft continued to be a driver for growth in passenger volumes at Heathrow. In 2016, around 40% of Heathrow’s long haul passengers travelled on cleaner and quieter new generation aircraft, such as Airbus A380s, A350s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners – up from around 25% in 2015 and helping to reduce the airport’s impact on local communities.

In a major boost for the economy, the Government announced its support for a new runway at Heathrow – the first full-length runway in the south east since the second world war. The Government will begin consulting on a national policy statement early this year

December results – 6.2 million passengers set month record

December passenger volumes alone set a new record for Heathrow, with 6.2 million passengers travelling through the airport (+4.4%).

Passengers to emerging markets in the Middle East (+16.9%) and Asia (+3.2%) continued to be drivers for growth as well as strong performance on North American segments (+2.1%).

Cargo growth was also strong, with trade through Heathrow increasing 5.1% driven in particular by growth to emerging market destinations such as Brazil up (+18.6%), India (+12.1%) and China (+8.3%).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye commented on the results, saying, “Heathrow celebrated 70 years as the country’s front door in 2016 and I’m proud that we were able to end this year on such a high note.”

“Whether it was welcoming back a triumphant Team GB from Rio or giving that special Heathrow service to a record number of passengers, increasing Britain’s trade with the rest of the world or securing Government support for expansion – Heathrow is Britain’s airport and we will continue to help all of our country thrive for decades to come.” – Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye

Fast facts about Heathrow’s record 2016:

  • Top 5 routes: New York (JFK), Dubai, Dublin, Amsterdam, Hong Kong

  • Number of airlines: 81

  • Number of destinations: 194

  • Number of countries served: 82

  • Busiest Day: 257,922 passengers (31 July 2016)


By Heathrow

Published 11th January 2017