Heathrow Airport has increased its 2022 passenger number forecast from 45.5 million to nearly 53 million.

This 16% rise follows a "strong" April, with 5.1 million people using the west London airport.

Heathrow said outbound leisure travellers and people cashing in airline vouchers obtained for trips cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic are driving the recovery in demand, which it expects to last throughout the summer.

The forecast means Heathrow expects passenger numbers to reach 65% of pre-pandemic levels this year.

This is a "realistic assessment", the airport insisted.

Airlines have accused Heathrow of playing down the recovery of demand as part of efforts to convince the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to allow it to raise fees further.