Despite sinking to 10th place last year, London’s Heathrow Airport has steadily rebuilt itself. It now takes the title of Europe’s busiest airport.

An uncertain future

After hosting almost 6 million passengers between July and September and 44 million between January and September 2022, Heathrow Airport has beaten its European rivals.

The news follows Heathrow’s recent decision to extend its passenger cap to the end of this month amid a summer of staff shortages and unbelievable long queues. The executive staff at Heathrow Airport will most likely be hoping for further passenger increases once the cap is removed. This comes as, although the airport acknowledges its success in comparison to much lower figures during Covid, its passenger numbers are still 15% below what they were in 2019. Now, with the cost-of-living crisis raging through the UK as well as the ongoing situation between Russia and Ukraine, it is unknown how the airport will be affected.

Christmas strategy

With the Christmas period looming, Heathrow Airport can still expect to see a sharp spike in fliers and has therefore made precautions in order to deal with the winter capacity. The airport plans to develop a new mechanism which will “protect existing airline schedules and restrict changes or additions to peak periods.” With this new system, staff at Heathrow will hopefully be better equipped to cope with sudden future passenger inclines.

Passengers on a plane decorated with tinsel for Christmas
© Bao Menglong

Are you planning to fly from Heathrow this Christmas? Let us know in the comments.


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