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Heathrow airport has its busiest ever day as July passenger traffic rises 3.7%

Heathrow was boosted by a 4.2% uplift in traffic to Asia-Pacific following the introduction of new services to Chinese destinations
Heathrow airport
On July 29, a record 262,000 passengers passed through Heathrow in 24 hours

Britain’s Heathrow airport said 7.8mln passengers travelled through the hub in July, during which it had its busiest ever day with more than a quarter of a million passengers using the airport in 24 hours.

Overall passenger numbers were up 3.7% in July compared to the same month a year ago, boosted by an 8.1% increase in passenger traffic to North America. Traffic to the Asia-Pacific region grew 4.2% following the introduction of new services connecting the UK to Changsha, Xi'an and Qingdao in China. Heathrow said it had added nine new routes to Chinese destinations over the past two years.

READ: British Airways owner IAG to expand long-haul operations 

The airport said that July 29 had been the busiest day in its history, as the hub welcomed 262,000 passengers in 24 hours. Overall, July reached unprecedented peaks, with over a quarter of a million passengers travelling through the airport on 19 different days in the month, it said.

Heathrow, which received government approval to build a third runway earlier this year, said it was reviewing over 100 fresh ideas from UK businesses and entrepreneurs to help deliver the project more innovatively, sustainably and affordably. It added that it had visited 65 UK sites bidding to help build the project.

CEO slams Home Office

The airport’s CEO John Holland-Kaye joined British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) in criticising the UK government for failing to tackle long border control queues at the airport.

"It's brilliant to see even more international visitors coming to the UK and supercharging the country's economy this summer,” Holland-Kaye said in a statement.

“However, too often their first impression of the UK is a long queue for immigration. The Home Office should let visitors from low risk countries, such as the US, use the same e-gates as EU visitors to give them a warm welcome to Britain,” he added.

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