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Heathrow June Passenger Numbers Rise 4.6 Pct

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Passenger traffic through London's Heathrow airport rose 4.6 percent in June, helped by strong growth on China and European routes as well as an extra working day compared with last year, Heathrow said on Thursday.

Of the 6.5 million passengers that passed through Heathrow last month, passengers to and from China rose 24.6 percent with East Asia and South America also seeing increases of over 10 percent.

European traffic rose 6.6 percent, boosted by strong growth on routes to Italy, Norway, France and the Netherlands.

It said that after adjusting for the extra day and the impact of a strike by French air traffic controllers in the middle of June, underlying passenger traffic would be up by 3.6 percent on the same month last year.

Cargo volume fell in the month by 4.2 percent, it said.

Politicians have been battling for years over whether to build a third runway at Heathrow, which is operating at around 98 percent capacity. About 1,300 flights arrive and leave from Heathrow daily.

The government's commission on airport capacity, chaired by former Financial Services Authority head Howard Davies, will publish an interim report by the end of next year with a final report due in mid-2015.

(Reuters)