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26 February 2016 08:51
Heathrow handled 75 million passengers last year
The UK's membership of the European Union (EU) has helped make air travel affordable and convenient for British holidaymakers, according to the chief executive of Heathrow Airport.
And John Holland-Kaye says he hopes June's referendum will result in Britain remaining in the EU.
Being in Europe, he says, has boosted jobs, growth and exports by ensuring there are regular flights from all parts of Britain to the continent.
Averting a Brexit, he adds, will keep the UK in the world's biggest free trade zone and secure its place as a global economic powerhouse.
Mr Holland-Kaye's comments come as new figures show that 2015 saw Heathrow being used by a record 75 million passengers, many of whom will have been jetting off on a holiday covered by a travel insurance policy.
That total represents a 2.2% increase on the number flying in and out of the west London airport in 2014.
Mr Holland-Kaye says the figures highlight what was an "excellent" year for Europe's busiest airport.
As well as a vote in favour of the UK staying in the EU, the chief executive is hoping this summer will see the Government giving Heathrow permission to build a third runway.
Last July, the Airports Commission, which had been looking at various options for increasing the capacity of the UK's airports, backed a third Heathrow runway in its final report.
Government ministers are currently assessing what impact that development would have on people living close to the airport.
Mr Holland-Kaye says he is confident the Government will back Heathrow's expansion plans, something he says will help boost long-term economic growth.
The chief executive adds that while the airport is in good health in terms of financial results, it is also making progress on its environmental commitments by cutting both noise and emissions.
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