Heathrow Expects Passenger Increase
Heathrow has reported a rise in sales and expects passenger growth to increase at a faster rate fuelling further debate over expansion and building projects that could see the United Kingdom invest heavily in.
In the nine months to the end of September, revenue grew for the company who own Heathrow as they started to make more money per passenger with an 8.2% increase leading to takings of £1.99 billion.
Heathrow International competes with Dubai International as the world’s busiest airport and is seen as an important hub and vital contributor to the United Kingdom’s economy. Traffic through the airport could now reach figures of 73.4 million passengers for 2014 which would be a 1.5% increase of 2013 and figures previously estimated at around 72.8 million passengers.
Despite this, pre-tax profits at Heathrow fell to £58 million form £266 million previously although most of this drop has come from the company’s sale of Stanstead airport which saw them with a one off gain of £292 million but then the subsequent loss of revenue following that.
Heathrow took £6.34 in revenue for each passenger in the last nine months which was up from the £6.24 from the same period in the previous year with passenger numbers again increasing 1.5% to 55.7 million.
John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of the Heathrow Group, said of this increase in numbers:
“Heathrow continues to deliver against key targets, with more passengers than ever choosing to use Heathrow,”
Heathrow is owned by a consortium of companies, led by Spanish construction firm Ferrovial. The group used to include Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, which were sold in a £1bn deal in October of this year.
Heathrow is already operating at 99% capacity and expansion has been a hot topic within Britain as many plans have been floated for either a new international airport or expansion of Heathrow. These plans included an airport in the Thames estuary, dubbed ‘Boris Island’ due to the backing and support it received from London Mayor Boris Johnson, and a third runway for Heathrow.
The airports commission has said that 180,000 new jobs would be created by a third runway at Heathrow with a £211 billion economic benefit to the country. The airport could then provide flights to forty new destinations, including emerging economic powerhouses, which would open up further trade for the UK. This would include 100% more freight facilities.
Ian Veitch, President, Freight Transport Association said of the proposed expansion:
“It is imperative that we recognise the inherent advantages Heathrow has as a world-class, global air freight hub and the unique benefits this brings not just to the South East of England but to Britain as a whole.”