2018 has been one of the biggest years in Heathrow’s history so we’ve taken a look at the top 10 moments in what was another big year for Heathrow Airport!
10. Heathrow welcomes first direct flight to Perth
In January, we announced that Qantas will fly non-stop flights from Heathrow to Perth, Australia, enabling UK travellers to experience Australia firsthand with our non-stop services – marking the start of the only direct air link between Europe and Australia.
Operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favourable winds on any given day without having to factor in a mid-point when choosing a flight path.
9. May the 4th be with you
To mark May 4, a date referred to as Star Wars day, Heathrow changed its departure boards across all terminals for Jedi passengers travelling to other galaxies including Tatooine, Kamino and Jakku! Jedi’s and Stormtroopers were also spotted in the Terminals.
8. Terminal 5 celebrates 10 year anniversary
In March, Heathrow Terminal 5 celebrated 10 years of operation, during which over 277 million passengers travelled through on over 969,000 flights!
The 10th anniversary came just a day after HRH Prince Charles visited Heathrow Terminal 5 to view and thank colleagues for the amazing work that goes into keeping our passengers travelling safely and on time. Find out more here…
7. Heathrow recreates the iconic Pride flag
In celebration of Pride In London, Heathrow embraced the colours of the rainbow and commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic flag, with the help of 6,000 passengers’ kisses. Heathrow’s Pride Flag flew high above Terminal 2 throughout the month of July.
6. MPs support Heathrow expansion
In a landmark vote on 25 June, MPs across political parties united to unambiguously back expanding Heathrow – ending decades of political debate. In total, 415 MPs voted in favour of expansion compared to 119 against – a majority of 296!
The approval unlocks billions in growth, secures thousands of new skilled jobs across the country and opens up to 40 new long-haul trading routes for Britain’s exporters. Find out more here…
5. Freddie for Take-Off
Our baggage handlers paid tribute to former Heathrow baggage handler and Queen legend Freddie Mercury with their own performance ahead of the launch of the Bohemian Rhapsody film. The dancing baggage handlers took professional choreography lessons and learnt a full routine to the Queen classic “I want to break free”, with fake moustaches and unique high-visibility jackets also making appearances in the video.
4. 80 million passengers were welcomed through Britain’s front door
On December 10, Heathrow set a historic milestone when, for the first time, it welcomed 80 million passengers in a twelve-month period. To celebrate the achievement, we offered surprises and giveaways in the terminals while on the same day it was announced that Heathrow will pay to achieve ‘settled status’ for EU colleagues to remain in the UK after 2020.
We also launched a Living Wage roadmap to ensure all colleagues are guaranteed the Living Wage by 2020. Find out more here…
3. ITV’s Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport returned for its 4th series
The popular TV series ‘Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport’ launched into its fourth season in May/June. The series looked into the lives of colleagues who work hard to get over 200,000 passengers and an average of 5,000 tonnes of cargo through the airport every day.
This year, it took a 14-strong crew, 1,200 coffees to get through over 500 hours of filming, producing three hours of gripping television drama that shows UK audiences exactly how it’s done.
2. The Bears make it back for Christmas – all the way from Florida
Heathrow released its new Christmas advert, which added another tale to the life of Britain’s much-loved bears, Doris and Edward Bair. The pair, who have starred in the airport’s last two Christmas TV adverts, returned to the UK from their Florida home after longing for the quintessential British Christmas. The ad landed many plaudits from critics and media alike.
The bears were also featured in the amazing gingerbread airport that was created by Great British Bake Off 2016 winner, Candice Brown and food artist Michele Wibowo.
The hand-made creation required ten people to install, took more than 200 hours to make, features over 1,000 gingerbread pieces and measures 40m squared!
1. Heathrow routes to China double, including beach-side Sanya
In 2018, Heathrow more than doubled its existing direct connections to China – growing the network from five destinations at the start of the year, to 11 with the addition of Chongqing, Wuhan, Sanya, Changsa, Xi’an and Shenzhen. Heathrow will continue to act as a vital link between China and the UK.