Heathrow prepares for largest Christmas season in three years
London Heathrow Airport, airline partners, and handlers are working together to prepare for the upcoming busy Christmas 2022 season.
London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has served 5.9 million passengers in October 2022, 84 per cent of 2019 levels. Year to date the airport has served 50 million passengers, 74 per cent of 2019 levels. The leisure market has been buoyant thanks to the half term getaway, with the airport’s busiest day since July 2022, and Heathrow has also seen the gradual return of business passengers too. Strong recovery in the Middle East and Central Asia was seen in October 2022 and is expected to continue into November 2022.
The increase in passenger numbers this year is higher than at any other airport in Europe. Companies across Heathrow have done an incredible job in recruiting and training around 16,000 colleagues over the last 12 months, which is keeping capacity and demand in balance. At current rates of recruitment, the airport is on track to get back to pre-pandemic employment levels before the peak summer holiday period in 2023.
Passenger service levels have been steadily improving, and Heathrow is honoured to have been named the ‘Best Airport in Europe’ by Business Traveller. The airport is planning investments of over £4 billion in the next few years, which will make the journey through Heathrow even better, including new security lanes which will allow passengers to leave laptops and liquids in their bags, and a new baggage system for Terminal 2, subject to a regulatory settlement that supports investment.
The airport has been working with airlines and their ground handlers to prepare for the Christmas peak, and have a good plan, which will not require any capacity cap. Heathrow is aware of potential strike action at a number of organisations, including a national Border Force strike. London Heathrow is supporting organisations on contingency plans to minimise any impact, and encourage all parties to put the interests of passengers first.
Heathrow is delighted to welcome new airlines such as Loganair and India’s Vistara, which will strengthen Heathrow’s role in connecting all of Britain to the growing markets of the world. The airport is proposing changes to our landing charges for 2023, which will support more connections to the UK’s regions and nations.
Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye commented: “We have come so far since Omicron grounded Christmas travel plans last year (2021). Heathrow, our airline partners and their handlers are all working together to make sure everyone can be reunited with their loved ones this Christmas.”