Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport served 4.9 million passengers in February 2014, up 1% from corresponding period in 2013.

The increase in number of passengers can be attributed to a rise in passengers flying to emerging market countries, including BRIC countries.

Overall passenger numbers to BRIC countries increased 2.5%, with China up 14.8%, and India up 2.2%.

The number of seats per aircraft increased 1.6%, while load factors decreased 0.3 percentage points to 69.3%, compared to last year.

The number of passengers per aircraft was up 1.1% to 139.6.

Air transport movements decreased 0.1% year-on-year to 35,256, while cargo fell by 1% to 109,803t.

Heathrow CEO Colin Matthews said: "The continued growth in traffic to emerging markets reflects the need to capitalise on regular, direct links to fast growing economies which bring trade and growth to the UK.

"We would like to welcome more new routes like the Heathrow-Colombia flights starting this summer, but a lack of hub airport capacity means we are less well connected than we could be."

"A lack of hub airport capacity means we are less well connected than we could be."

Heathrow Airport announced a deal in February with Colombia’s national airline Avianca to provide the UK with its first direct connection to Colombia for nine years.

As part of the Star Alliance Avianca’s passengers will be offered four flights a week from July through Heathrow’s new second terminal, which will open this June.

The airport also announced plans to introduce in July a new initiative to manage arriving flights based on the amount of time between the flights rather than distance.

The new system is recommended by the independent Airports Commission, and will lower delays and cancellations due to the strong head winds caused as a result of the flights landing arriving flights closer together.

Image: Heathrow Airport has seen a growth in traffic. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airport.