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Full aviation recovery still years away, says Heathrow

Full aviation recovery still years away, says Heathrow

Heathrow has said passenger numbers were 60 per cent lower in November than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just over three million people travelled from the airport last month, which was significantly up on the same month last year, but there remains a long way to go until numbers fully recover, the airport said.

Heathrow said it does not expect that international travel will recover to 2019 levels until at least all travel restrictions (including testing) are removed from all markets, at both ends of the route, and there is no risk of new restrictions, such as quarantine, being imposed.

This is likely to be several years away, the airport added.

A statement added there were “high cancellations” among business travellers concerned about being trapped overseas for Christmas as Omicron spreads.


This week ministers said passengers arriving in the UK would have to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test, as well as a post-flight test, because of fears about the spread of the new variant.

Arrivals from red list countries also face hotel quarantine again – a measure Heathrow said it would like to see scrapped.

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “By allowing Brits to isolate at home, ministers can make sure they are reunited with their loved ones this Christmas.

“It would send a strong signal that restrictions on travel will be removed as soon as safely possible to give passengers the confidence to book for 2022, opening up thousands of new jobs for local people at Heathrow.

“Let’s reunite families for Christmas.”