Heathrow falls in list of world’s busiest airports
West London site out of the top five
HEATHROW Airport has dropped three places to sixth position in the list of the world’s busiest airports.
Despite having a record year, welcoming 75 million passengers in 2015, the west London airport was overtaken by Dubai International Airport which moved from sixth place to third, according to preliminary traffic figures published by Airports Council International (ACI).
It also marks the first time Heathrow has dropped out of the top five spots in more than a decade, however it holds its position as Europe’s busiest airport.
Heathrow is currently fighting for expansion over Gatwick airport and says it has dozens of airlines knocking on its door wanting to fly from a bigger Heathrow.
Stifled by capacity over decade, a airport the past Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow had a fantastic 2015 – our colleagues delivered the best service we’ve ever achieved to a record 75 million passengers. But Heathrow is the only major hub airport in the world to operate at 99 per cent capacity and we’ve done so for over a decade. The bottleneck in the UK’s hub capacity means fewer British exports are getting to growing markets and that’s impacting jobs across Britain.
“Without an expanded Heathrow, the UK will continue to slide down the global league tables.”
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson held onto its crown as the world’s busiest airport, growing by 5.5 per cent to reach 101.4m passengers, with Beijing in second place, recording 89.9m travellers, and Dubai recording 78m passengers, up 10.7 per cent.
Dubai is also the world’s busiest in terms of international passengers ahead of LondonHeathrow.
Angela Gittens, director general at ACI World, said: “In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimising their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport.
“Thus, even in the most mature markets, such as the United States and parts of Western Europe, several of the major hubs experienced year-over-year growth rates in passenger traffic that were well above the historical growth levels for these regions.
“On the other hand, we continue to observe double-digit growth rates at major Middle Eastern and Asian hubs serving long haul routes in emerging markets.
“However, airport capacity considerations on the supply side within major city markets will remain paramount to the issue of accommodating the surge in demand for air travel.”
The ACI report is based on 1,114 airports worldwide.