At the same time, four new connections to China in 2018 helped trade through Heathrow grow 2.2 per cent, to 841,449 tonnes of cargo.
John Holland-Kaye, chief executive at Heathrow, said: “This year will be a year for the record books – England’s footballers have made the nation proud, we’ve had the best summer sunshine in years and parliament voted overwhelmingly to expand Heathrow.
“We’re proud to be the front door of a nation flying high, and we’ll continue delivering a great passenger service and the global trading links that will keep the UK thriving for decades to come.”
As the summer getaway gets into full-swing, passengers are spending more in Heathrow’s shops pushing retail growth 4.8 per cent higher.
Sunglasses have proved particularly popular, with over 700 pairs sold each day so far this year.
Strong retail spend helps support lower airport charges, which fell around one per cent.
Strong retail sales and continued passenger growth pushed revenues up 2.3 per cent, to £1,405 million, and increased adjusted EBITDA by 1.6 per cent to £848 million.
In June, a political mandate in parliament propelled Heathrow’s expansion project forward.
Heathrow is now reviewing over 100 fresh ideas from UK businesses and entrepreneurs to help deliver the project more innovatively, sustainably and affordably.
This is in addition to finalising visits to 65 UK sites bidding to help build the project through large-scale offsite manufacturing.