Heathrow ends 2023 with busiest ever December

Heathrow has recorded its busiest ever December with more than 6.6 million people travelling through the airport last month.

It brings the total number of passengers using Heathrow up to 79 million in 2023.

Averaging at around 216,000 daily passengers last month, its busiest day over the festive period was Friday, December 22 with almost 250,000 passing through the airport.

Some 142,000 passengers travelled on December 25 with nearly 800 flights arriving and departing on Heathrow’s busiest Christmas day ever.

Transatlantic travel remained a key driver for passenger numbers with 1.6 million travelling to and from North America in December, as New York (JFK) clinched the top spot as its most popular destination in 2023 with more than three million passengers in total.

And 2023 was Terminal 5’s busiest year ever, surpassing 33 million passengers for the second time since opening 15 years ago and serving 2.6 million passengers in December alone.

The gift-giving season saw Heathrow process 133,277 tonnes of cargo in December, culminating in a total of more than 1.43 million tonnes processed in 2023 – this represents more than 2% growth compared with 2022, with traders and forwarders taking advantage of Heathrow's growing long-haul network to fly their goods around the world.

Highlighting Heathrow’s position as the fourth busiest airport globally, its routes with more than a million passengers rose to 24 in 2023 with Boston and Geneva passing the milestone in December.

Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye said: “By ending 2023 on a high, a strong foundation is laid for 2024 during which Heathrow will continue to grow and to facilitate the UK’s potential for global growth.”

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