Heathrow saw the highest passenger growth among European counterparts in 2022. This is good news for British Airways (BA), owner of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, (LSE:IAG).
BA, which holds half of the slots at the London airport’s west London airport, would have seen the majority of the 61.6mln passengers who passed through it in 2022.
42.2mln people used it in 2021, which was a heavily Covid-restricted year.
July saw 6.3mln passengers and December had 5.9mln, almost double the December 2021 figure.
After the UK lifted all Covid restrictions in March, despite the summer of chaos travel, passenger numbers soared.
Many customers suffered delays or cancellations due to airline staff shortages.
Despite an increase in passengers, the demand for them remained at 76% below their levels prior to the pandemic.
Heathrow Airport also warned that the sector may face further setbacks due to Covid cases rising in China.
Anyone arriving from mainland China to the UK has been required to pass pre-travel Covid testing.
Victoria Scholar, head investment at Interactive Investor, said: “The macroeconomic background of a looming crisis and sky-high inflation could weigh on consumer demand to holiday, while the post-pandemic normalisation Zoom meetings continues putting pressure on business travel.”