LONDON – London Heathrow Airport’s (LHR) passenger numbers have plummeted by a staggering 88% for the month of July.

Strong Government Opposition

The airport CEO John Holland-Kaye commented on these results, placing the reasoning behind countries being locked off.

“Tens of thousands of jobs are being lost because Britain remains cut off from critical markets such as the US, Canada, and Singapore.”

“The government can save jobs by introducing testing to cut quarantine from higher-risk countries, while keeping the public safe from a second wave of COVID.“

Around 60% of the airport’s route network still remains grounded due to passengers having to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

London Heathrow The Numbers

The percentage decrease represents 860,000 passengers using the airport during that period.

London Heathrow noted that this does reflect a slight uplift in passenger traffic.

Around half of the total passengers flew to European destinations that are not on the quarantine list.

In addition, the airport hanndled around 88,000 metric tonnes of cargo in July. 60% of all operations for the month were cargo only flights.

This is a jump of 55% compared to the same period last year.

London Heathrow Terminal 5. Photo: LHR.

Positive But Limited Route Development

London Heathrow welcomed the new Eastern Airways (T3) announcement regarding services to Teeside Airport (MME).

Other airlines within the limited network launched services to Dubrovnik, Genoa and Verona respectively.

Heathrow Safety Measures amid Restrictions

The airport has been working on ways to make flying safer, including:

  • UV Robots.
  • UV Handrail Technology.
  • Fly Safe Pit Stops.
  • Hygiene Technicians.

Whilst the new routes are welcomed, the airport is heavily reliant on the UK Government loosening restrictions.

Between August 2019 to July 2020, the airport handled 50.7 million passengers. This still represents a 37% drop in numbers.

Long Road Ahead for London Heathrow

It remains clear that as recovery is penned for 2024, there is still a long road ahead for LHR.

It seems that from the CEO’s comments, all eyes should now be on the UK Government regarding travel barriers.

The pressure will certainly be on, especially with LHR missing out on the key markets it has thrived on for many years.