Heathrow January traffic edges up

LONDON Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:32am GMT

A British Airways aircraft taxis after snowfall at Heathrow airport in London January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall

A British Airways aircraft taxis after snowfall at Heathrow airport in London January 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall

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LONDON (Reuters) - Passenger traffic at London's Heathrow airport edged up in January despite snow-related disruption, Heathrow Ltd, the British airport operator formerly known as BAA, said on Monday.

Of the 5.18 million people who passed through the London hub last month, passenger numbers to China rose 14.1 percent year-on-year with India also delivering good growth, the company said.

Domestic travel fell 5.8 percent but European and North American traffic was well up on January 2012.

Heavy snowfall last month led British airports to cancel hundreds of flights to allow more space between aircraft because of low visibility.

Heathrow's load factor - showing how full the average flight was - rose 2.1 percentage points to 70.0 percent during the month. However, cargo was down 5.3 percent, the group said.

January traffic at Gatwick, London's second largest airport which is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, fell 0.8 percent to 2.1 million passengers on the same month a year ago.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones; Editing by Sarah Young)

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