The UK’s London Heathrow Airport has posted an adjusted pre-tax loss of £684m in 2022, a drop from the £1.27bn loss a year ago due to Covid-19-induced travel restrictions.

Passenger numbers at the airport surged to 61.6 million in the year ending 31 December 2022 as borders reopened in March.

The footfall at the UK’s busiest hub was still 25% lower than 2019 levels, though it witnessed an increase from 19.4 million reported in 2021.

Looking ahead to 2023, Heathrow projects traffic of 67.2 million, or 83% of 2019 levels, even though it indicated soaring inflation as a cause for concern.

Revenues surged 140% to £2.91bn in 2022 with a recovery in traffic, against £1.21bn in the prior year.

Adjusted EBITDA grew to £61.6m from £19.4m while cash generated from operations rose by 180% year-on-year to £1.72bn.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: 2022 may have been a year of recovery, but 2023 is shaping up to be a year of renewal for Heathrow.

“Our teams have already delivered a successful Christmas and half-term getaway, and with a great investment plan in place, we are determined to once again rank in the top ten airports for service.”

Holland-Kaye will step down from his post later this year after nine years in the position.

Heathrow did not distribute dividends in 2022, and also ruled them out this year as ‘financing remains conservative’.

It faced major disruption and imposed capacity caps last year amid labour shortages and traffic growth.

This cap was lifted last October.

In January, the airport recorded passenger traffic of 5.48 million, which is said to be its busiest start to a year in three years.