As with July the growth is largely attributable to comparatively lower traffic during the London Olympics last year. Underlying growth for July and August, adjusting for the Games, was 1%.
Load factors were high again whilst average aircraft size maintained its upward trend. The average number of seats per aircraft was 204.2, up 3.4%, whilst the number of passengers on each flight rose 6.9% to 168.9, resulting in an average load factor of 82.7%, up 2.6 percentage points on August 2012.
Broadly consistent with recent trends, Middle East and Central Asia traffic improved, with an increase of 13.4%. East Asia and South Asia were up 21.3% and 18.3% respectively. BRIC economies contributed to that growth, with China up 28.3%, and India up 18.7%. Overall, traffic to the BRICS rose 13.4% on the previous year.
European traffic performance was strong, up 8.6% including growth to Italy, France and Germany.
Chief Executive for Heathrow, Colin Matthews, said:
“Larger, fuller aircraft continue to contribute to rising passenger numbers at Heathrow. However, don’t imagine this will solve the UK’s hub capacity crisis. The country is falling behind its international rivals in links to emerging economies – which in turn means we’re losing the global race for jobs, trade and economic growth. Only a larger hub airport can put the UK back at the forefront of international connectivity.”