Heathrow Airport had a record year in 2012, handling 70 million passengers and seeing a rise of 0.9 per cent from 2011.
The Guardian reports that the growth at Britain's biggest airport was driven by a 3.2 per cent increase in north Atlantic traffic and there were also more flights to Brazil, plus growth on Middle East, central Asia and East Asia routes.
There was a 5.7 per cent dip in African traffic, while Indian traffic was down 3.4 per cent due to airlines reducing or ceasing services.
According to the BBC, December was a record month at the London airport, with China traffic up 23 per cent. In December, 5.6 million passengers passed through the airport - 2.0 per cent up on December 2011.
European traffic rose just 0.5 per cent reflecting economic conditions in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, where passenger numbers collectively fell 4.5 per cent over 2012.
The growth was balanced by a 1.3 per cent drop in cargo passing through the airport.
For several years, Heathrow has been operating close to official full capacity.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: 'The figures for 2012 show Heathrow is delivering higher passenger numbers despite a tough economic climate. At the same time passenger satisfaction reached record levels.
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