London Heathrow's March traffic up 3.9 percent

LONDON Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:22am BST

Passengers wait for flights with their luggage at Heathrow airport in London March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Passengers wait for flights with their luggage at Heathrow airport in London March 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - Passenger traffic at London's Heathrow airport rose 3.9 percent in March, boosted by strong growth on European and Chinese routes, Heathrow Ltd said on Friday.

Of the 5.9 million people who passed through the London hub last month, passenger numbers to China rose 15.1 percent year-on-year with India also delivering good growth, the British airport operator formerly known as BAA said.

European traffic rose 7.4 percent, despite the continuing weakness of the European economy, with especially strong growth on routes to Italy, France and Norway.

Heathrow said the growth was also driven by a record March average load factor, a measure of how full flights are, of 75.8 percent, up 2.4 percentage points.

It added that Heathrow's cargo activity was down 2.3 percent in March, In line with slower world trade trends.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by Kate Holton)

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