Full year 2018

Over 1.6m metric tonnes of cargo travelled through the UK’s largest port by value throughout the year. This is the equivalent of 761 London Eyes, 88 Shard buildings or 32 QE2s. North American cargo made up over 600,000 metric tonnes, Asia Pacific was second highest with more than 510,000 metric tonnes.

Cargo (Metric Tonnes)


Dec 2018 % Change Jan to

Dec 2018

% Change Jan 2018 to

Dec 2018

% Change
UK 39 -57.8 917 -17.6 917 -17.6
EU 7,623 -16.9 110,790 -0.8 110,790 -0.8
Non-EU Europe 4,404 -1 57,154 5.4 57,154 5.4
Africa 7,416 1.6 88,669 -3.1 88,669 -3.1
North America 46,662 -12 606,887 -1.4 606,887 -1.4
Latin America 4,641 0.9 52,386 10.6 52,386 10.6
Middle East 20,789 -6.4 256,485 -4.5 256,485 -4.5
Asia / Pacific 40,432 -4.9 511,849 0.7 511,849 0.7
Total 132,005 -7.9* 1,685,137 -0.8 1,685,137 -0.8*

* Actual cargo growth figure is -3.6% for December and +0.1% for 2018 due to incomplete and missing data at time of publication

A record 80 million passengers travelled through the UK’s only hub airport in 2018, up 2.7% on last year, with growth boosted by the use of larger and fuller aircraft. Heathrow is one of only seven airports in the world to achieve this milestone.

Heathrow continued to raise the bar on customer satisfaction scores being named ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ for the fourth year running, and ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for the ninth year in the most recent Skytrax World Airport Awards. Terminal 2 beat its international counterparts to win ‘World’s Best Airport Terminal’, with Terminal 5 coming in 4th.

In 2018, Heathrow unveiled the airport’s plans for carbon neutral growth, outlining action on four key areas to reduce and offset carbon emissions from the growth in flights that would be created by an additional runway – including through investments in peatland restoration and free landing fees for the first electric flight.

Last year, Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority for Heathrow expansion - a project which will bring growth to every corner of the UK. Since this landmark vote, Heathrow has moved forward in delivering an expanded airport by launching a consultation on airspace modernisation this week.

December 2018

6.5 million people travelled through Heathrow in December, as passengers made their way home for the holidays or sought winter sun. Traffic increased by 2.5%, making December the 26th consecutive record month.

The regions that saw the most passenger growth were Africa and Latin America, up 9.3% and 7.0% respectively compared to last year.

132,000 metric tonnes of cargo travelled through the airport last month. The standout markets for cargo growth were Brazil, China and Turkey.

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.”