Record November passenger numbers at snow-hit Gatwick and Heathrow

Joanna Bourke
A number of flights in the UK have been cancelled owing to bad weather: PA Archive/PA Images

Heathrow and Gatwick airports took a break from battling snow and ice on Monday to boast record-breaking passenger numbers for November.

Scores of Brits have faced flight cancellations and delays after the capital was covered in snow yesterday. But airports in the South-East spoke of warmer climates as they revealed that latest figures were boosted by travellers heading to Latin America and Asia.

The number of passengers passing through Heathrow last month hit 5.9 million — up 3.5% from a year earlier, strengthening its case for a third runway.

Europe’s busiest airport said Latin America was its fastest-growing market, helped by new British Airways flights to Santiago in Chile.

Trips to Asia also increased, thanks to the start of a daily 787 Dreamliner service by Japan Airlines, and additional flights by Jet Airways to Mumbai and China Southern to Guangzhou.

Cargo volumes increased 12% to 154,000 metric tonnes.

At Gatwick, passenger numbers rose 2.1% to almost 2.9 million in November.

It said St Lucia, Liberia and Costa Rica were the winter sun destinations experiencing the fastest customer growth in the month. Travellers heading to Hong Kong also surged.