Heathrow Airport said new long-haul routes have lifted global trade and tonnage through the airport increased 1.5 per cent to a record high of 1.3 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2018, boosted in part by this year’s five new belly services to China.
Heathrow said it is also delivered ‘robust financial performance’ and it remains in strong financial health as revenues climbed 2.3 per cent to £2,211 million in the period on the back of higher demand to fly and strong retail spend – supporting an additional £555 million of investment into the airport.
The airport said global appetite to invest in Heathrow stronger than ever as nearly £1.6 billion raised from global investors during 2018, recently adding a 7th currency with a debut Australian dollar issue. Attractive financing the airport said lays the groundwork for entirely privately-funded expansion and builds Heathrow’s financial resilience ahead of Brexit.
The airport has also started ground surveys for expansion begin. Progress continues in delivering expansion. Initial ground surveys of surrounding land began in September. With two further public consultations set for January and June 2019, Heathrow remains on-track to submit a planning application in 2020 and for the first flights to use the new runway in 2026.
Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye said: “With the outcome of Brexit negotiations unknown, strong businesses like Heathrow must stand up to support Britain’s economy. We will expand Heathrow to boost Britain’s global trade for decades to come, and we are proud to protect Britain’s SMEs by maintaining our 30-day payment terms for all of our suppliers.
“No matter how small, suppliers should have confidence that they will be paid on-time for their services, and we call on other businesses to follow our lead.”