Heathrow losing top international passenger slot to Dubai


By John Aglionby, Financial Times

London: Heathrow is losing its top slot as the world’s busiest international passenger hub to Dubai, which the airport says reinforces its case for a third runway to protect UK competitiveness.

The number of passengers passing through the UK’s main air hub in March was down 2.8 per cent on March 2013 to 5.8 million, of whom 5.3 million were international, the airport announced on Friday.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said the decline was in line with expectations and largely because of Easter moving from March to April in 2014.

However, in March, Dubai reported higher international passenger numbers than Heathrow over a two-month period for the first time.

The Middle East hub that is home to Emirates Airline and flydubai said the expansion of the two operators was behind a rise of 11.7 per cent in its passenger traffic to 5.68 million in February from the same period last year. For the first two months of the year passenger numbers rose 13.5 per cent to 12.08 million.

The comparable figure for Heathrow for the past two months was 9.8 million international passengers. More info