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Heathrow passenger numbers keep dwindling as CEO urges G7 for safe travel

City AM logo City AM 11/06/2021 Millie Turner
© Provided by City AM

After 15 months of restrictions, Heathrow’s passenger numbers in the UK and across the world have continued to collapse below pre-pandemic levels, with a loss of over 6m passengers in the month, the airport said this morning.

From June 2020 to May 2021, there was a 79.3 per cent plunge in terminal passenger numbers in the UK.

Numbers continued to sink from January this year to May, tumbling another 70.3 per cent to just 555 UK-based passengers.

Passengers from North America saw the largest shedding of numbers, dropping 94.2 per cent from June last year to May 2021.

This year, from January to May, Heathrow suffered a 91.2 per cent fall in passengers from North America, as it flew just 543 people in that period.

Despite the decline in passengers compared to 2020, Heathrow’s adjusted earnings for this year is expected to increase 23 per cent to £332m.

The airport was able to finish the financial year, ending 31 May, with around £5bn in cash due to 2020’s cost reduction initiatives, Heathrow said in a statement this morning.

The transatlantic corridor, to North America, is a key money maker for the airport and airlines.

Earlier this week, CEOs of American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport stressed the need to safely reopen the transatlantic corridor as dwindling passenger numbers continue into 2021.

“With the G7 starting today, ministers have a chance to kickstart the green global recovery by agreeing how to resume international travel safely and setting a mandate for sustainable aviation fuels that will decarbonise aviation,” Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said.

“This is the time for them to show global leadership.”

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