UK. London Heathrow Airport passenger traffic fell by -97% year-on-year in April. The UK hub supported essential travel for just over 200,000 people, the number it would usually handle in one day. Demand is expected to remain weak until governments lift lockdowns, said Heathrow.

Heathrow served just over 200,000 passengers in April, the number it would normally welcome in one day (click to enlarge)

As the UK government announced plans to impose a 14-day quarantine on visitors who arrive by air, Heathrow said it supports the aim to avoid a new wave of infections, “even though it will effectively close borders temporarily”.

“It is likely that few passenger flights will operate and even less people will travel until the quarantine is lifted. Without long haul passenger flights, there will be very limited trade as 40% of UK exports and inward supply chain travels in the cargo holds of passenger planes from Heathrow. Until people can fly freely again, industries in all corners of the country will remain stagnant.”

Heathrow Airport said the government move to impose a 14-day quarantine on all air arrivals would lead to even fewer flights and travellers

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Aviation is the lifeblood of this country’s economy, and until we get Britain flying again, UK business will be stuck in third gear. The government needs to urgently lay out a roadmap for how they will reopen borders once the disease has been beaten, and to take an immediate lead in agreeing a Common International Standard for health in aviation that will allow passengers who don’t have the infection to travel freely.”