Heathrow passenger numbers fall

Heathrow passenger numbers fall

Heathrow saw its passenger numbers decline in March as the UK entered lockdown in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Passenger numbers at the London airport dropped by 52% last month, when compared to the same period a year earlier.

Many nations have been placed under lockdown to help fight the spread of the illness, restricting travel and movement.

Stricter lockdown measures were introduced in the UK at the end of March to limit non-essential travel.

As there is little certainty over how long the crisis will last, Heathrow expects passenger demand in April to drop by more than 90%.

“Heathrow moved to single runway operations on April 6th, and over the coming weeks will consolidate operations into Terminals 2 and 5 only. The move will protect long-term jobs at the airport by reducing operating costs, helping Heathrow to remain financially resilient,” the airport said in a statement.

Heathrow is using any available capacity to prioritise cargo flights with the transportation of medical supplies.

“The airport is well-placed to receive time-critical and temperature-sensitive medical supplies, such as ventilators, medicines and COVID-19 testing kits,” it continued.

The airport donated 6,000 face masks last week to the NHS teams working at Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Hillingdon Hospital.

CEO John Holland-Kaye commented: “Heathrow continues to serve the nation by keeping vital supply lines open, and helping people get home.”

“Now is the time to agree a common international standard for healthcare screening in airports so that when this crisis recedes, people can travel with confidence and we can get the British economy moving again,” the CEO continued.

The aviation industry has been hit particularly hard by the virus as travel restrictions have been put in place in order to contain the outbreak of the illness.

Flybe (LON:FLYB) collapsed at the beginning of March, with the immediate crash of the airline blamed on COVID-19 related impacts.

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