Heathrow Covid-19 losses reach £2.9bn
Heathrow said on Monday that its cumulative losses from the Covid-19 pandemic have reached £2.9bn.
In its results for the six months to 30 June, the airport said adjusted pre-tax losses widened to £787m from £471m in the same period a year ago, with revenue down 51.1% to £348m.
Heathrow said passenger demand is increasing from historic lows, but travel restrictions remain a barrier. Fewer than 4 million people travelled through the airport in the first six months of the year, a level that would have taken just 18 days to reach in 2019.
The airport said that while recent changes to the government’s traffic light system are encouraging, expensive testing requirements and travel restrictions are holding back the UK’s economic recovery and could see Heathrow welcome fewer passengers in 2021 than in 2020.
The airport argued that financial support should be in place as long as travel restrictions remain. It called on ministers to provide support including an extension to the furlough scheme and business rates relief.
Chief executive office John Holland-Kaye said: "The UK is emerging from the worst effects of the health pandemic, but is falling behind its EU rivals in international trade by being slow to remove restrictions.
"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."