Heathrow’s strong performance shows value of a passenger service focus

During May 2022, London Heathrow Airport welcomed 5.3m passengers, 79 per cent of 2019 levels, the airport’s busiest month which included the Jubilee half term travel boom.

Heathrow's strong performance shows value of a passenger service focus

5.3m passengers travelled through London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in May 2022, 79 per cent of 2019 levels, in line with Heathrow’s revised forecast.

Close co-ordination and planning with airport partners meant that passengers got away on their flights from Heathrow over the busy Jubilee half term. Check in generally worked well, with more passengers checking in online and despite May 2022 being the airport’s busiest month since March 2020, 90 per cent of passengers were through security in less than 10 minutes. No more flights were cancelled at short notice than on any normal day and Border Force performed well.

As part of Heathrow’s longstanding ramp up plan, Heathrow will reopen Terminal 4 on 14 June 2022 and 30 airlines will move in ahead of the summer peak. London Heathrow are increasing the airport’s own security, engineering and services teams, and supporting other employers across the airport with their recruitment.   

While LHR rebuild capacity from the pandemic, resources remains tight, in line with other airports in the UK and Europe. Heathrow are working closely with airlines and handlers to match supply and demand.  This has made the difference at Heathrow in being able to get passengers away over Easter and the Jubilee half term and is now being adopted by other major hubs in Europe.

Recent criticism of service levels across the sector demonstrates that the airport’s plan to maintain high levels of passenger service during the H7 regulatory period is the right one for consumers, and that the last thing passengers want is a cut price plan that leads to the cancelled holidays, stress and ‘hassle’ seen at other airports.  LHR urge the CAA to protect service and resilience levels, incentivise investment and maintain affordable private financing, all of which can be achieved for less than the equivalent of a two per cent increase in ticket prices.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye commented: “I’m immensely proud of the way my team has worked with airlines and other partners to ensure passengers got away during the Jubilee half term.  Heathrow continue to make good progress with our plans to ramp up capacity and are working closely with airlines and government to keep supply and demand in balance as LHR grow, so that passengers can travel through Heathrow this summer with confidence. The airport now need a regulatory settlement from the CAA that protects service and resilience levels, incentivises investment and maintains affordable private financing. Failure to invest risks degrading passenger experience at a time when it has never been more important for operations to ramp up smoothly.”

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