Heathrow's Nov traffic up 3.1 pct yr-on-yr

LONDON Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:15am EST

Passengers queue to check in at Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport in London March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Passengers queue to check in at Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport in London March 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Passenger traffic at London's Heathrow airport rose 3.1 percent on the same month last year, Heathrow Ltd, the British airport operator formerly known as BAA, said on Tuesday.

Of the 5.4 million passengers who passed through the London hub last month, passenger numbers to China rose 12.9 percent, with Brazil and Russia also delivering good growth, the company said. European traffic was also up strongly on November 2011.

"Passenger figures to the BRIC economies continue to be strong, illustrating the demand for routes to emerging markets. But there's more demand that the UK can't meet - because its only hub airport, Heathrow, is full," said Heathrow's Chief Executive Colin Matthews.

The airport operator said part of the increase was due to the late half term school holidays in Britain, as well as disruption in November last year.

Heathrow's load factor - showing how full the average flight was - was up to a record 72.8 percent, the group said. (Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by Kate Holton)