Airport owner BAA saw a rise in the number of passengers travelling through its airports in March, boosted by an earlier Easter this year.
The number of passengers rose 4% to 8.6m at its six UK airports, with Heathrow being particularly busy; Heathrow's numbers leapt by 6.9% to 5.7m, meaning the airport saw more than 70m passengers over a twelve month period for the first time.
BAA Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, said: "Reaching 70m passengers at Heathrow is a major milestone, demonstrating the resilience of the airport in an otherwise challenging economic environment. Increases in load factors drove this; however Heathrow continues to operate at 99.2% capacity - placing constraints on airlines' ability to introduce new flights to the emerging economies which are so vital to UK economic growth."
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BAA is petitioning for a third runway to be built at Heathrow, but the government has ruled this out as an option.
Year-on-year, cargo levels at the flagship London airport were almost identical, and slightly higher at 0.1% across the group, while Heathrow's load factor rose 4.2 percentage points to 73.4% during March, compared to the same month in 2011.
While passenger numbers were down at Stansted, Edinburgh and Southampton, by 4.7%, 2.8% and 1.7% respectively, Glasgow airport was up 4.6%, and Aberdeen leapt 10.2%.
The firm's largest market, European scheduled traffic, gained 3.2%, due in part to a strong ski season. Passengers on North Atlantic routes rose 13.6%, with other long haul traffic up 5.2%.
The company also reported a 62.3% year-on-year jump in traffic between the UK and Brazil during March.
BAA is majority-owned by Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial.
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