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Record 2012 figures for Heathrow

Airport terminal sign14/01/13

By Will Roberts

Heathrow Airport handled a record number of passengers in 2012, with satisfaction levels also at an all-time high.

Britain's busiest airport handled almost 70 million passengers last year - 0.9 per cent more than in 2011.

Brazil saw the biggest increase in the numebr of people flying from Heathrow, (21 per cent), followed by China, which saw traffic increase by 5.9 per cent, while Russia had a 4.5 per cent increase in numbers.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: "The figures for 2012 show Heathrow is delivering higher passenger numbers despite a tough economic climate.

"At the same time passenger satisfaction reached record levels.

"Over the next 12 months we will continue to improve the passenger experience and focus on our investment programme, as we move towards completion of the new Terminal 2."

European traffic rose 0.5 per cent but African traffic saw a 5.7 per cent decrease and Indian traffic was down 3.4 per cent due to airlines either reducing or ceasing services.

Those European countries in economic trouble - Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal - saw a collective passenger reduction of 4.5 per cent throughout 2012.

The number of passengers going to Greece was down 7.3 per cent while Italian traffic was down 6.8 per cent.

Domestic traffic was up by 0.5 per cent while cargo traffic was down 1.3 per cent.

Last year planes were a record 75.6 per cent full on average, compared with 75.2 per cent in 2011.

The festive holiday period helped generate record December figures - with 5.6 million passengers passing through the airport - up 2 per cent on December 2011.

Anyone thinking about flying abroad should make sure they have adequate travel insurance.

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