Heathrow figures show increase in Bric country demand

Strong demand for flights to and from emerging countries helped Heathrow record a 3.1% rise in passengers in November to 5.4 million.

Of the Bric economies, passenger numbers were up 6% to Brazil, 6.2% to Russia and 12.9% to China, but down 1.3% to India.

But the boss of the company that runs the London hub warned that Heathrow is full and could not keep up with demand.

Chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Passenger figures to the Bric economies continue to be strong, illustrating the demand for routes to emerging markets.

“But there’s more demand that the UK can’t meet – because its only hub airport, Heathrow, is full.

“Last month we launched our first response to the government’s Airports Commission, which is looking into this lack of capacity.

“It concluded there are just three options for government – do nothing, expand Heathrow or close Heathrow and open a new hub airport elsewhere.”

North Atlantic traffic was up 2.4% and European scheduled traffic rose by 7.1% over November last year.

Within Europe, France was up 9.8%, Germany up 9.2% and Italy up 10.7%.

But Greek traffic continued to be down with a drop of 14.6% on the same month in 2011.

Part of the overall percentage increase was due to the late school half term, as well as disruption in November last year.

Taking these and other factors in to account, the results show an underlying increase of 0.4% for the month.

Stansted saw passenger numbers rise by 6.2% to almost 1.2 million in November. Glasgow and Aberdeen airports achieved a 5.1% increase in passengers to 773,200. Southampton’s numbers were up by 3.7% to 129,000.

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