Heathrow concedes defeat to Dubai

Heathrow has begun publicly handing over its crown to Dubai as the world’s busiest international airport, saying it can no longer compete.

The admission follows two months in which the Middle East hub trounced Heathrow’s passenger figures, the first time this has happened.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said Dubai’s achievements “shows that the UK will soon no longer have the world’s number one airport for international passenger traffic”.

Heathrow hopes Dubai’s passenger figures for January and February will sway The Davies Commission, which is still deciding whether to recommend that Heathrow gets a third runway.

Matthews, who leaves in June, added: “We want Britain to continue to compete globally against the best hub airports in the world but without a third runway. Heathrow’s comparative decline will make the whole of the UK a less attractive place to do business.”

During March, Heathrow saw 5.8 million passengers through its doors, down 2.8 per cent year on year, because of the late Easter this year.

Figures also reflect the growth of new destinations and the use of bigger aircraft. Passenger numbers to Mexico were up 19 per cent year on year, China up nearly 12 per cent and Turkey by 7 per cent. The average number of seats per aircraft rose almost 2 per cent.


Gary Noakes

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  • It is not only Heathrow ,all other airports around the world the Gulf countries are trying their utmost to increase there traffic volume.At the same time you ought to consider that they only have one airport, whereas combind traffic from Gatwick,Stansted and Luton,in the London area has much more traffic volume. Dubai is yet to catch-up on ATL and PEK. UAEs policy of no strikes, does help them. UK and other European workers do have the advantages of expressing their grevinces.

  • I don’t even fly from LHR now…I fly EK from my local airport of NCL eastwards and I fly from AMS or CDG westwards with KLM/AF. Getting from T5 to T4 on a Sunday evening just put me off for good…I’ve never used LHR for 3 years now.

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