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Heathrow calls on UK government to open up following $4bn in losses

Heathrow expecting pent-up demand for holidays to bring passenger levels up to 21.5m people in 2021

Heathrow Airport has called upon the UK government to open travel to to passengers who have been vaccinated as its pandemic-induced losses reached £2.9bn.

Prior to the pandemic, Heathrow was one of the busiest airports in Europe. However, during the first half of 2021, fewer than 4m people travelled via the London airport. The number would have been surpassed in less than three weeks in 2019.

The airport is expecting pent-up demand for holidays to bring about a surge in passenger levels, up to 21.5m people, for the remainder of 2021.

During the fist six months of 2021, Heathrow’s revenue came in at £348m, down from £712m compared to the same period in 2020, meaning its loss before tax increased by 18% to just over £1bn.

Heathrow also revealed it had increased liquidity to £4.8bn.

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The airport said that changes to the quarantine and testing requirements for passengers arriving in the UK were “encouraging”, however it said the rules for international travellers are continuing to hold back the UK economy from making a full recovery.

The airport has called upon the UK government to open it up to tourists who have been vaccinated from both Europe and the US.

The airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “Replacing PCR tests with lateral flow tests and opening up to EU and US vaccinated travellers at the end of July will start to get Britain’s economic recovery off the ground.”

“The European markets not only are open with each other, but they’ve also opened up to the United States, which they see as being a relatively low-risk country,” said Mr Holland-Kaye. “They’re allowing people who have been double-vaccinated to come from the US. That’s seen a massive uplift in the number of travellers from there.”

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