London’s Heathrow airport fell to 10th position on the continent, after recording 71% fewer passengers in August compared to two years ago. The London airport fell behind airports such as Paris (France), Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Frankfurt (Germany). Until 2019, it was the busiest airport in Europe.
Some 2.2 million passengers traveled through Heathrow last month, down from 1.5 million signaled in July, but down 71 percent from August 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic, the airport manager said in a statement. Airport officials pointed out that other European airports are “recovering at a much greater pace,” attributing the drop in traffic to “ever-changing restrictions” imposed by the British government.
The government has the tools to protect the international competitiveness of the country and to succeed in the ambitions of a global UKJohn Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO
Heathrow airport also lamented the “excessive and unnecessary” Covid-19 testing that people have to undergo upon arrival in the UK. In light of the situation, the managing body has called on the British Executive to relax restrictive travel measures to encourage activity and regain pre-pandemic levels.
If no action is taken, the UK will continue to lose business opportunities and face lower levels of overseas tourism, which is likely to impact employment and slow the local economic recoveryHeathrow Airport
Heathrow’s management is also requesting the UK’s border force devote “adequate resources” to processing traveler arrivals to avoid the recent scenes of “passengers waiting several hours” to land in the country. Those waiting times are “totally unacceptable.”
With regard to freight, the volume passing through London’s airport is 18% below pre-pandemic levels, while airports such as Frankfurt and Amsterdam have grown by 9%, according to Heathrow airport. Trade routes between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (US) have recovered by around 50% from before the health crisis, while recovery levels between the UK and the US remain below 92%.