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Heathrow Regains Top Spot

The Heathrow Observer

May 17, 2022.

According to a report by OAG's John Grant, London Heathrow is the World’s Busiest International Airport This Week

Grant writes: 'Three years ago, the world’s top twenty international airports could probably be listed by many readers. And for many of those massive infrastructures the recovery is well underway, although as the table below shows some are not quite so well advanced.

This week’s data places London Heathrow in pole position for international capacity, the same spot as in 2019, so a sign that things are getting back to normal.

Unfortunately, what was the world’s second-largest international airport this week in 2019, Hong Kong, is now down in 84th place with only 12% of historic capacity being operated despite Cathay Pacific announcing the relaunch of a daily London Heathrow service in June. Similarly, Seoul Incheon was in 5th position and now sits in 50th place with a near 80% decline in international airline capacity; both markets are heavily reliant on Chinese connecting traffic making their future recovery heavily dependent on access to China reopening soon.'

Very large aircraft, like the Airbus A380, will still be around but are likely to be fewer in number.

Reports that bring news of a return to the normal we once knew are welcome but must be taken with a degree of caution - we still live in uncertain times.

With the situation in Ukraine ongoing, China still locking down and COVID-19 continuing to cause concern among western governments (some more than others), it will not take too much to see restrictions of one kind or another brought back.

Returning air traffic gives something spotters, young and old, to look at

We obviously hope there is no return to the drastic measures seen over the past two years as commercial aviation has proved its worth during the pandemic - and that we do indeed learn to live with Covid, as the term goes.

Because unless we do, the world faces a very bleak future

Images - Kevan James

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