London Heathrow operates at 99.2% capacity in 2011
UK’s BAA stated (22-Feb-2012) London Heathrow is now operating at full capacity as it achieved record annual traffic of 87.4 million passengers (+3.7% year-on-year) in 2011. Heathrow operated 99.2% of its maximum allowed 480,000 annual arrivals and departures meaning it effectively operated at full capacity. At the same time it also experienced the highest ever load factor on aircraft operating to and from the airport of 75.2% (2010: 75.1%). The airport stated the airport’s traffic performance reflects its position as a major European hub and its broad international links in both European and long haul markets. Heathrow is the third largest airport in the world and the largest globally for international traffic, with 7 of the top 10 long haul intercontinental routes passing through the airport. Growth was particularly strong with countries such as the United States, Germany, Switzerland, France and Brazil. However, Heathrow’s domestic traffic lagged the airport’s overall performance, declining 2.9% to 4.7 million passengers (2010: 4.8 million) largely reflecting cessation of bmi’s Glasgow service. The proportion of origin and destination traffic at Heathrow remained constant in 2011 versus 2010 at 65%.