Image credit: Drop of Light /

The boss of Heathrow today called on David Cameron to back expansion of the airport as first quarter passenger numbers hit 16.8 million.

Numbers for the three months to March, including the early timing of Easter, rose by 2%, with revenue up by 3.2% to £642 million and pre-tax profits increasing to £23 million from £19 million year-on-year.

The airport said independent analysis shows that a number of routes from Heathrow are already full for freight.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “At a time of uncertainty about Britain’s place in the world, families and businesses are counting on the prime minister to secure Britain’s long term future. 

“An expanded Heathrow will be an economic powerhouse, a global symbol of a confident, outward looking Britain. Let’s make it happen.”

Garuda Indonesia was the latest airline to switch its London operations from Gatwick to Heathrow in the period.  

A government decision on airport expansion in the south east of England was delayed in December until this summer after the Airports Commission backed expansion of Heathrow over Gatwick.