London Heathrow lifts full-year passenger forecast, citing bookings trend

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London’s Heathrow airport lifted its full-year passenger forecast, citing updated information on schedules and bookings and the limited impact of capacity caps imposed to boost resilience as travel rebounds.

The UK hub now expects to attract 54.4 million passenger in 2022, versus a forecast for 52.8 million travelers issued on April 26, it said in a statement Thursday. The revised target equates to 67 percent of the customer tally for 2019.

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Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport prior to the pandemic, has seen a slower return of passengers than many smaller hubs with the long-haul markets in which it specializes held back by sluggish corporate demand and lingering travel curbs in Asia. It said there’s still much uncertainty over 2022 figures, which could range from 57 percent of the pre-pandemic tally to as high as 77 percent.

At the same time, Heathrow has suffered less disruption from staffing issues than other UK airports such as London Gatwick and Manchester, with main customer British Airways adjusting its timetable early in the summer season.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization is expected to increase 257 percent to 1.37 billion pounds ($1.7 billion), it said, with revenue more than doubling to 2.59 billion pounds.

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