Pandemic piles up Heathrow Airport losses

Photo: AP

With pandemic still dragging back the international transport links, UK biggest Heathrow Airport announced it was piling new losses, amounting at millions of pounds, BBC reported. Heathrow dipped a further £329m into the red in the first three months of the year, bringing total losses since the start of the pandemic to £2.4bn. Just over 1.7 million passengers travelled through the airport during the quarter, down 91% on the period in 2019.

Heathrow, which during the pandemic lost its crown as Europe's busiest hub to Paris, said continuing uncertainty over British government policy meant it had reduced its passenger forecast for the year to a range of between 13 million and 36 million, compared to 81 million in 2019.

Cargo volumes are also down 23% in 2019, underlining how a lack of flights affects UK trade with the rest of the world. British transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he will chair a meeting of G7 transport ministers next week to discuss vaccine passports before announcing which countries would be open to Britons for travel in early May. Heathrow reiterated that Britain's summer economic recovery depended on travel restarting from 17 May. It said it would be ready to scale-up operations as demand returned but repeated concerns about the UK Border Force's ability to prevent a long wait for arriving passengers at passport checks.

Despite saying there was strong underlying demand for travel, the airport said it had cut its passenger forecast for the year to between 13 and 36 million. In 2019, 81 million people passed through Heathrow.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles

  • US, European airlines cancel flights to Israel

    US, European airlines cancel flights to Israel

    British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Iberia became the latest of a number of airlines to cancel flights to and from Israel amid rising tension of the escalating conflict in the region, Reuters reported. All companies stated that safety of crew and passengers is essential and will not be put on risk. "The safety and security of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority, and we continue to monitor the situation closely," British Airways said after cancelling its flights to and from Tel Aviv.

    42
  • Airbus, Air France face trial over 2009 crash

    Airbus, Air France face trial over 2009 crash

    A French court ruled that Airbus and Air France must face charges, related to the death of 228 people on board of plane that crashed in 2009 during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, AFP reported. Flight AF447 crushed into the Atlantic Ocean during a storm on 1 June, 2009, the deadliest crash in the whole Air France history. Lawyers for Airbus immediately said that they would file an appeal.

    33
  • Chip shortage cripples global car industry

    Chip shortage cripples global car industry

    Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has become yet another automotive producer that was forced to decrease and even stop production activities in its main facilities due to acute global semiconductor chip shortage, BBC reported. The chip shortage affects badly the car production sector as Covid-19 restrictions in most industrial countries have been eased and customer demand surges. However the car production sector has to compete with computer, telecoms and other hi-tech industries for the limited global chip supply.

    66