LONDON- Heathrow Airport (LHR) has kicked off 2023 on a strong note, witnessing resilient demand and exceptional service in the first half.
In the first half of the year, our teams warmly welcomed a staggering 37 million passengers, experiencing some of the busiest days ever recorded.
Notably, the summer peak has seen passengers enjoying great service, with nearly all travelers waiting less than five minutes at security checkpoints.
Heathrow Airport First Half Results
Despite the ongoing challenges, overall passenger numbers have consistently improved from the pandemic lows. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that the cost of living crisis remains a material headwind affecting second-half demand.
On a positive note, we are pleased to announce that a fair two-year pay deal has been agreed upon for all frontline colleagues, ensuring their dedication is well rewarded.
Heathrow Airport remains committed to connecting all of Britain to global growth. With an impressive selection of over 225 destinations this summer, passengers have a wide array of options to choose from.
Airlines have been actively adding more routes and frequencies to their Heathrow networks.
Additionally, the airport’s lower domestic charges have led to Loganair increasing its routes, connecting 12 UK airports to the UK’s hub airport.
Furthermore, Heathrow continues to excel as Europe’s best gateway for flights to the US, offering 248 daily flights to 31 US destinations.
Notably, the airport has enhanced connectivity to India and China compared to its European hub competitors.
Investing in Passenger Service
Heathrow Airport is dedicated to maintaining its status as Britain’s premier hub, continuously investing in passenger service enhancements.
With plans in place for up to £3.7 billion of improvements, we aim to streamline security in all terminals and replace the Terminal 2 baggage system, ensuring passengers enjoy a seamless and efficient experience.
In the first half of 2023, adjusted losses before tax were halved to £139 million, indicating a positive trend. Despite this, challenges persist, including the CAA’s setting of a low revenue allowance in the H7 regulatory settlement, which has been appealed.
However, our balance sheet remains robust, with gearing well below pre-pandemic levels and £4 billion of liquidity, sufficient to cover all commitments for at least the next 24 months. Dividends are not projected for 2023.
Heathrow Airport is also a trailblazer in sustainability, being the first airport worldwide to issue a sustainability-linked bond.
The bond includes ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions both in the air and on the ground. We eagerly anticipate Virgin Atlantic’s flight from Heathrow to JFK later this year, which will be powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
As advocates of green initiatives, we urge policymakers to foster a domestic sustainable aviation fuels industry, creating new green jobs, reducing costs for UK consumers, and helping achieve net-zero targets.
After an illustrious nine years of transformation and growth, CEO John Holland-Kaye will step down in October. He leaves behind a legacy of exceptional customer service, a strong and diverse team, and securing parliamentary support for expansion and sustainability leadership.
The incoming CEO, Thomas Woldbye, currently leading Copenhagen Airport, brings invaluable experience in elevating it as the hub of choice for passengers in Northern Europe.
In his statement, outgoing CEO John Holland-Kaye expressed immense pride in the team’s accomplishments over the past nine years, propelling Heathrow Airport into a world-class facility in which Britain can take pride.
Acknowledging Heathrow’s position as a sustainability leader with a diverse and inclusive culture, he emphasized the airport’s ability to attract the best talent from around the world.
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