LONDON // Heathrow Airport on Tuesday said revenues climbed 2.7 per cent to £2.76 billion (Dh3.88bn) in 2015, with pre-tax profits of £223 million, up 22 per cent on the previous year.
The results were announced as Europe’s busiest airport threw its weight behind the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.
The prime minister David Cameron on Monday set a date of June 23 for a national referendum on whether to stay a member of the bloc or leave.
“Heathrow believes that the UK will be better off remaining in a reformed EU,” the airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said on Tuesday.
“We are the UK’s only hub airport, connecting Britain to over 80 long-haul destinations, and handling over a quarter of UK exports – but we recognise that for business to thrive we also need to be part of the single European market.
“A vote to remain offers the best of both worlds – it secures our place as a powerhouse in the global economy, while remaining in the world’s largest free trade zone,” he said.
The airport’s value of imports and exports tops that of Britain’s biggest container ports, Felixstowe and Southampton, combined, according to the Seabury trade database. The facility now accounts for 26 per cent of all annual UK exports.
The chief executive also said he was confident the government would approve a third runway for the hub once the referendum is held.
“We have every expectation they will back the Airport Commission’s recommendation for a third runway,” Mr Holland-Kaye said.
The airport last month reported record passenger numbers for 2015 of 75 million, up 2.2 per cent on the previous year.
In 2014, Dubai International Airport overtook Heathrow as the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic. A total of 68.9 million passengers had passed through Dubai International compared with 67.8 million at Heathrow as of December 22 for that year, data from the Airports Council International showed. The UAE hub still retains the top slot.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter