Heathrow said it recorded the largest increase in passengers of any European airport last year.

The west London airport was used by 61.6 million passengers in 2022, up 42.2 million compared with 2021.

It experienced a surge in passenger numbers after the UK scrapped all coronavirus travel restrictions in March last year, after having some of Europe’s toughest rules in 2021.

Some 5.9 million passengers traveled through the airport in December, up 90% compared with the same month in 2021.

The busiest route was New York JFK.

Heathrow said arriving travelers reported a “friendly and efficient journey through immigration” as armed forces personnel and volunteer civil servants manned passport desks during a strike by Border Force officers.

Despite the increase in passengers in 2022, demand was just 76% of pre-virus levels.

The airport warned the recovery of the aviation industry “could be set back” by the reintroduction of coronavirus testing for travelers arriving from China in the UK and elsewhere “even though governments acknowledge there is no scientific basis for doing so.”

Heathrow was among the airports hit by major disruption in 2022 as the aviation sector struggled to cope with staff shortages.

It said providing “excellent service remains our key priority for 2023”.

Heathrow records biggest increase in passengers of any European airportLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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