Transport Airports

Heathrow’s profits up on rising landing charges and Olympics traffic

Feb 18, 2013 12:30 pm

Skift Take

Heathrow won’t grow due to increased flights as it is operating at full capacity, but bigger planes like A380 with more passengers per plane.

— Rafat Ali

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eGuide Travel  / Flickr.com

Passengers checking in at Heathrow's Terminal 5. eGuide Travel / Flickr.com


Heathrow has reported a rise in profits after a record 70 million passenger used the country’s largest airport in 2012, despite the Olympics dampening numbers.

The company which runs Heathrow and Stansted, formerly known as BAA, posted an 8pc rise in revenues to £2.5bn, while it returned to the black at an underlying level with pre-tax profits of £46.4m, according to its annual report.

The group reported that Heathrow’s traffic was impacted in July and August by over 400,000 passengers compared to the same period of 2011 by the London 2012 Olympics.

UK based travellers staying in the country to enjoy the Games and non-UK travellers avoiding travel to the UK due to concerns over disruption caused by the Games, the company said.

After that traffic growth resumed with monthly records in September, November and December.

The results also include Stansted Airport, which was sold after the year-end to Manchester Airports Group for £1.5bn . Stansted’s passenger numbers declined 3.2pc to 17.5 million last year.

The company predicted more strong growth in Heathrow’s turnover this year and said construction of the new Terminal 2 should be completed towards the end of 2013, with operations commencing in mid-2014.

The project accounted for a large slice of the £1.1bn invested in the airport during 2012, an increase of more than 30% on a year earlier.

However, it warned that Heathrow airport was operating at close to capacity and the company warned this would limit the UK’s ability to trade with emerging economies. There were 471,341 flights during 2012, just below Heathrow’s cap of 480,000 a year.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “”2012 was an historic year for Heathrow. We gave a warm welcome and a smooth journey to thousands of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and greeted a record 70 million passengers over the twelve months.

“We also achieved record customer satisfaction levels, with three quarters of people saying they had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ experience at Heathrow.”

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