Heathrow passenger numbers down 81 per cent in September

Heathrow passenger numbers were down 81 per cent last month with just 1.3million travelling through the airport compared to 6.8million in September 2019

  • Over half of Heathrow’s passengers last month were flying to or from the EU 
  • Airport said that long-haul business travel is being restricted by border closures
  • It added that a ‘lack of testing’ for Covid-19 was hampering long-haul travel 

Heathrow’s passenger numbers were down 81 per cent in September, figures published by the airport reveal.

Just 1.3million people travelled through the west London airport last month, compared with 6.8million in September 2019.

More than half of the passengers who used Heathrow last month were flying to or from the European Union.

Heathrow’s passenger numbers were down 81 per cent year-on-year in September, figures published by the airport show

Heathrow said long-haul business travel continues to be restricted by international border closures and ‘a lack of testing’ for Covid-19.

And the lack of long-haul flights led to cargo volumes, normally carried in the hold of passenger planes, falling by 28.2 per cent compared to September last year.

Last week, the Government unveiled a taskforce to develop a coronavirus testing system as a potential way of easing quarantine restrictions for arriving passengers.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: ‘The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is a great step forward, but needs to act quickly to save the millions of UK jobs that rely on aviation.

Heathrow said long-haul business travel continues to be restricted by international border closures and ‘a lack of testing’ for Covid-19. Pictured is the airport’s Terminal 5

‘Implementing “test and release” after five days of quarantine would kickstart the economy.

‘But the Government could show real leadership by working with the US to develop a common international standard for pre-departure testing that would mean that only Covid-free passengers are allowed to travel from high-risk countries.’ 

Last week, it was revealed that Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports plan to axe 900 jobs as the fall out from coronavirus continues to batter the travel industry.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) – which owns the hubs – said it is having to take action because there simply isn’t the demand for travel.

It added the lack of progress on testing had discouraged people from travelling because the prospect of a two-week quarantine was not practical.

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