Heathrow had 3.4% more passengers in 2013 than in 2012. Gatwick had 3.6% more.

Heathrow and Gatwick have both reported growth in passenger numbers for 2013. Traffic at Heathrow reached 72.3 million, an increase of 3.4% on 2012, Aircraft movements totalled 469,552 for the year at Heathrow, which was down 0.4% on 2012. Colin Matthews used the figures as another opportunity to put in a plug for another Heathrow runway, saying Heathrow is full [but it keeps adding passengers – its terminals are not full, though its runways are nearly full] and so Heathrow has to watch other European airports adding more flights. Heathrow said BRIC passengers were up 6.9% over the year, with China up 18.9%, and India up 8.7%. Meanwhile at Gatwick traffic reached 35.4 million passengers in 2013, an increase of 3.6% on 2012. Gatwick’s aircraft movements totalled 244,552, which was a rise of 1.6% on 2012. Gatwick said its European routes were the main source of its growth, and they were increasing the number of long-haul routes, with more flights to Dubai. There will be a daily A380 service to Dubai from Gatwick from March.” Gatwick had fewer charter flights to European leisure destinations, reflecting the longer-term market move towards scheduled, low cost airlines. Heathrow load factor was 76.4% and Gatwick’s 79.4%. 


Heathrow and Gatwick report rise in passenger numbers in 2013



This is the December 2013 Heathrow Traffic Summary at                                                         12 Dec 13 – traffic summary.pdf (20 KB)

December 2013 figures including all 2013

Heathrow traffic and business commentary December 2013

13 January, 2014

2013 results:

– Heathrow handled 72.3m passengers over 2013, an increase of 3.4% on 2012.
– Taking account the dip in demand from the Olympic Games, underlying growth is estimated at 2.3%
– Seats per aircraft increased 2.8% on 2012 and the average load factor was 76.4%, up 1 percentage point. Passengers per aircraft rose 3.7% to 154.8.
– European traffic in 2013 grew 4.4%, in part a ‘bounce back’ from the Olympics and also benefitting from the integration of bmi into British Airways’ network.
– BRIC passengers were up 6.9% over the year, with China up 18.9%, and India up 8.7%.


December results:
– 5.8 million passengers passed through Heathrow in December 2013, up 2.8% on the previous year.
–  Seats per aircraft increased 2.6% and load factors were up 1.3 percentage points on last year, to 76.7%. Passengers per aircraft increased 5.2% to 158.9.
–  BRIC passengers were up by 6.1% overall, with China up 18.6%, India up 6.7% and Brazil up 4.4%.


Heathrow CEO Colin Matthews said:
“During 2013 Heathrow was named the best large airport in Europe, T5 was voted the ‘world’s best terminal’ for the second year running and we welcomed the Airports Commission’s shortlisting of Heathrow as an option for expansion. Our passenger figures reflect the growing demand for the long-haul destinations only a hub airport can support. Yet Heathrow is full, leaving European hubs to add destinations whilst we look on. We are not against expansion at Gatwick, but greater point to point capacity is no substitute for new hub capacity which only Heathrow can provide.”




Heathrow passengers over the past 17 years:

CAA airport statistics

2013   72,332,900 (up + 3.4% on 2012)
2012   69,983,139 (up + 0.9% on 2011)
2011   69,390,628 (up + 5.5% on 2010)
2010   65,745,000 (almost no change on 2009)
2009   65,908,000 (down – 1.5% on 2008)
2008   66,907,000 (down -1% on 2007)
2007   67,852,000
2006   67,339,000
2005   67,683,000
2000   64,227,000
1996   55,726,000




London Gatwick traffic results for December 2013

13 January 2014

  • Gatwick saw a 4.8% increase in passengers year-on-year
  • Over 2.3 million passengers passed through the airport in December
  • Emirates announces it will fly a daily A380 service between Gatwick and Dubai from March

December 2013 traffic performance summary

MonthMoving Annual Total
Total terminal passengers (000s)2,389.32,280.64.8%35,433.934,211.03.6%
Market Analysis:
UK + Channel Islands286.5294.7(2.8)%3,776.43,828.1(1.4)%
European scheduled1,317.61,180.611.6%19,645.618,516.86.1%
European charter153.9180.8(14.9)%4,026.74,076.9(1.2)%
North Atlantic90.5110.0(17.7)%1,648.01,846.5(10.7)%
Other long haul435.9413.85.3%5,070.54,658.08.9%
Air transport movements17,46616,6734.8%244,552240,6501.6%
Cargo (metric tonnes)7,4288,882(16.4)%96,93997,676(0.8)%


Note: Origins and destinations are classified according to ultimate origin or destination of aircraft in the case of multi-sector flights.

Traffic Commentary

London Gatwick saw 2.3 million passengers use the airport in December 2013; an increase of 4.8% or 108,700 passengers over the prior year.

The growth in European routes continued with over 1.4 million passengers choosing to fly from London Gatwick to Europe – an increase of 7.8% over the prior year. The majority of this growth was on flights to key business routes with destinations such as Moscow, Istanbul, Barcelona and Copenhagen adding over 66,000 passengers. This was tempered by fewer passengers on charter flights to European leisure destinations, reflecting the longer-term market move towards scheduled, low cost airlines.

The reported loss of traffic to North America, down 17.7%, was nearly all due to US Airways ceasing services from London Gatwick earlier in the year. Next summer will see a boost to Gatwick’s transatlantic services with the launch of Norwegian’s low cost, long haul routes to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.

Other long haul growth was up 5.3%, mainly as a result of increases on leisure routes such as Thailand and Sri Lanka. This was complemented by growth on long haul business routes such as to Dubai and Baghdad. For domestic traffic, increases on the Belfast, Glasgow and Isle of Man routes were offset by the withdrawal of the Manchester route.

Load factors – showing how full the average flight was – were at 79.4%, 1.3 percentage points above the prior year.

Nick Dunn, Chief Financial Officer at London Gatwick said:

“European travel, particularly on business routes, continues to steadily grow at Gatwick with passengers making the most of our extensive choice of key European destinations – the largest on offer of any UK airport. This, coupled with our fast, direct connections into central London and the City, means we are rapidly developing our reputation as a business travel airport in the UK and overseas.

“Alongside European growth, we continue to see strong performance in long haul, particularly on established routes to the Middle East such as Dubai. This route will be further strengthened by December’s announcement that Emirates will fly a daily A380 service to Dubai from March.”





Gatwick passengers over the past 17 years:

CAA airport statistics

2013   35,433,900 (up + 3.6% on 2012)
2012   34,218,668 (up + 1.7% on 2011)
2011   33,644,000 ( up +7% on 2010)
2010   31,342,000 (down – 3% on 2009)
2009   32,361,199 (down – 5.3% on 2008)
2008   34,162 thousand (down -3% on 2007)
2007   35,165 (up +3% on 2006)
2006   34,080
2005   32,693
2000   31,947
1996   24,985