Heathrow's December traffic up 2 percent

LONDON Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:53am GMT

An airplane comes in over the top of houses to land at Heathrow Airport in west London August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

An airplane comes in over the top of houses to land at Heathrow Airport in west London August 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - Passenger traffic at London's Heathrow airport rose 2 percent in December, Heathrow Ltd, the airport operator formerly known as BAA, said on Monday.

Of the 5.6 million people who passed through the London hub last month, passenger numbers to China rose 23.2 percent year-on-year with Brazil and Russia also delivering good growth, the company said. European traffic was also up strongly on December 2011.

The group said passenger traffic for the full-year rose 0.9 percent compared to a year earlier, helped by a 3.2 percent increase in North Atlantic traffic. Cargo was down 1.3 percent for the year.

"The figures for 2012 show Heathrow is delivering higher passenger numbers despite a tough economic climate. Over the next 12 months we will continue to improve the passenger experience and focus on our investment programme," said Heathrow's Chief Executive Colin Matthews.

Heathrow's load factor - showing how full the average flight was - was up to a record 72.8 percent, the group said.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by James Davey)

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