Image via Shutterstock

The boss of Heathrow says he is “overwhelmed” by the support for its expansion plans.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye spoke as the west London hub reported its busiest ever January with a record 5.45 million passengers, an increase of 1.3% on the same month last year.

Larger, fuller, quieter aircraft at Heathrow continued to be a driver for passenger growth. Passengers per aircraft rose 2.2% to 147.7.

EasyJet declared its support for Heathrow expansion in the month, citing it was in the best interests of its passengers, the airline and the UK economy

An independent ‘Back Heathrow’ campaign marked its 80,000th supporter as it delivered its consultation response to Airports Commission in Westminster.

A third runway and an extension of one of the existing runways at Heathrow are two of the three options shortlisted by the commission for airport expansion in the south-east together with a second runway at rival Gatwick.

“I have been overwhelmed by the support from our local community, businesses, Chambers of Commerce and politicians all over the country, unions and airlines,” Holland-Kaye said today.

“Politicians can now have the confidence that expanding Heathrow is not only best for Britain, but also backed by Britain.”

Passenger numbers to emerging market last month were particularly strong to Latin America – with Mexico increasing 17.9% and Brazil 4.7%. The Middle East and Central Asia also saw growth of 4.9% and passenger volumes to China grew 2%, Heathrow reported.

The year-on-year rise in transfer passengers was up by 4.3%.