The final quarter of the year ended in a record-breaking Christmas period with December 19 seeing a total of 52,367 customers depart from T5 alone – making it the busiest winter day since the terminal opened.

Despite the there being 20-30 fewer flights a day during winter, it was the second busiest day in the terminal’s history, only missing the top spot by 261 customers.

Andy Lord, Director of Operations, said: “At T5 alone we’ve helped more than 52,000 people get away on festive breaks to see friends and family in a single day, with a further 6,000 more going through T1 and T3 – it’s something to be really proud of. The operational teams across Heathrow and around the world deserve a lot of credit for what was a very, very busy and challenging festive period.”

Throughout the quarter, winter weather played its part. Several days were affected by strong winds, thunderstorms or even the after effects of Hurricane Gonzalo, restricting flow rates and leading to delays at Heathrow and downroute. Performance was also hampered by a range of factors beyond the airlines control – European industrial action, NATS and SITA system failures, HAL security performance in T5 and IT system instability.

The Ready to go (RTG) performance for the quarter was 54 per cent, which was below target meaning BA only met the punctuality target in the first quarter of 2014.

The 15-minute performance, an industry recognised measurement of punctuality, was 77 per cent, meaning the airline finished the year on 78 per cent.

Andy Lord, added: “We’ve faced a wide range of challenges in the final quarter of the year, at Heathrow, Gatwick and overseas. We had a really strong November but it wasn’t enough to offset the very difficult October and December. I’ve been amazed time and time again by the fantastic response from teams across BA to react quickly to minimise the effect on our customers and work together to deliver exceptional service and a safe operation.”

Ian Howick, Director of Heathrow said, “There was plenty to celebrate in the quarter too, with record baggage performance at Heathrow in November. I’d particularly like to thank everyone at Heathrow who worked tirelessly to deliver our busiest ever Christmas and minimise the impact of the system outages, strikes and weather delays we experienced in recent months. Quarter one was out strongest quarter in 2014 and I’m looking forward to us improving on that in 2015.”