UK. London Heathrow Airport handled 80.1 million passengers in 2018, a rise of 2.7% year-on-year and a new annual record. It is the first time that Heathrow has passed the 80 million passenger mark. In December, traffic increased by 2.5% to 6.5 million, making December the 26th consecutive record month at the UK’s largest hub.

Strong tailwinds: Heathrow has posted 26 consecutive months of passenger traffic growth.

Traffic to and from Africa showed the highest percentage growth for the full year at 5.3%, followed by Latin America (4.4%) and North America (4.3%). EU Europe volumes grew by 3.1% and non-EU Europe traffic was marginally up (0.3%), with Asia Pacific growth at 2.7% and the Middle East at 0.5%.

Heathrow launched a consultation on airspace modernisation this week as the airport company anticipates growth ahead. Last year, the UK Parliament voted for Heathrow expansion through a third runway.

Detailed picture: Heathrow traffic for December and the full year (click to enlarge).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “2018 has been an exceptional year for Heathrow, with record passenger numbers and service levels, and with MPs voting overwhelmingly in support of expansion. We are on track to deliver an expanded Heathrow in the early years of Brexit, which will keep Britain as one of the world’s great trading nations.”