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NEWS Last modified on February 21, 2019

Heathrow reflects on 'record performance' in 2018

London's Heathrow Airport today issued its assessment of its performance in 2018, which it claims was one of the best in its history.

The UK hub says that a record 80.1 million passengers (+2.7%), its eighth year of consecutive growth, made 2018 a milestone year.

It notes airport charges fell 1% to £21.78 and that 81.9% of passengers said they had an “Excellent” or “Very Good” experience at Heathrow.

Traffic trends

Heathrow doubled its Chinese connections in 2018, adding six new cities including Europe’s only flight to Shenzhen, the home of Asia’s Silicon Valley.

These new services helped to push global trade flowing through Heathrow to 1.7 million tonnes of cargo.

Following the re-launch of the Inverness services, the UK’s two furthest mainland airports are now be connected to the nation’s hub boosting trade and travel opportunities. Heathrow’s domestic connections are set to grow to nine as new services to Newquay begin in April.

Financial performance

Operator Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) maintains that Heathrow is "a well-run business in strong financial health" on the basis that its revenues climbed 3% to nearly £3 billion in 2018.

It notes that this was achieved on the back of strong retail spend and increased demand to fly – supporting £793 million of investment into the airport.

Adjusted EBITDA climbed 4.4% to £1,837 million.

Future expansion

Following one of the largest ever parliamentary majorities on the Airports National Policy Statement, Heathrow’s preferred masterplan continues to take shape.

The airport reveals that it will release the detailed plans in further consultation in June 2019, and remains on-track to submit a planning application in 2020 and for the first flights to use the new runway in 2026

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow, said: “Last year was the best ever year at Heathrow. We were voted best airport in Western Europe by passengers, while continuing to drive down costs. 

"We improved safety and closed our gender pay gap. We were named 'Responsible Business of the Year' and won an overwhelming parliamentary majority in support of Heathrow expansion. 

"We remain on track to open the new runway in 2026. I am very proud of the outstanding work of 76,000 colleagues across the airport, who are delivering for Britain."

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