There has been an increase in the number of people taking long-haul flights from the UK over the past year, new figures suggest.
According to the latest statistics from BAA, some 70.4 million passengers passed through its seven UK airports between June 2007 and June 2008.
Last month alone, 13.5 million people travelled through London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.
The main trend noted overall was an increase in international flights, with long-haul destinations proving particularly popular.
Heathrow Airport, which accounts for 46 per cent of all BAA’s traffic, recorded a 10.7 per cent increase in long-haul flights to destinations in the North Atlantic.
BAA said that this is a result of the opening of British Airway’s operations at Terminal 5 and the switching of some flights from Gatwick Airport – which noted a decline in North Atlantic flights – to the new facility.
Despite losing North Atlantic flights, Gatwick noted a 10.8 per cent increase in flights to Europe and a 30.5 per cent boost in traffic to Ireland.
As well as the opening of British Airway’s Terminal 5 base, Heathrow has seen an increased presence of airlines from the Star Alliance.
A new Star Alliance lounge opened in Terminal 1 earlier this month and long-haul carriers such as Air New Zealand and United Airlines moved from Terminal 2 to join fellow alliance members.
Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss and TAP will all move to Terminal 1 by the start of 2009.