Modest recovery at Heathrow Airport continued in October; the airport company is forecasting traffic to double in 2022 (Photo: David Dyson)

UK. London Heathrow Airport served just over 3 million passengers in October, a leap of +144% compared to a low base in October 2020, but down by -56% on pre-pandemic levels. The latest figure represents the sixth consecutive month of growth, aided by relaxation of travel rules that have “unleashed pent-up demand”.

As reported, passenger traffic at Heathrow is not expected to fully recover until at least 2026. For 2021, Heathrow has forecast 21.5 million passengers, down by -73.4% compared to 2019, though this figure is set to double in 2022, the company has said.

Heathrow Airport stated: “With air travel at other major European airports recovering faster, Ministers should reassess testing requirements for fully vaccinated passengers and the Passenger Locator Form at the next Global Travel Taskforce review, to ensure the UK is aligned with its European competitors.”

Heathrow passenger traffic in October and in the first ten months; click to enlarge

The airport company also said that aviation recovery must be matched by progress on decarbonisation.

CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “As the journey to recovery accelerates, aviation’s ambitions to decarbonise must keep pace. We need to keep our foot to the pedal, working to make air travel guilt-free and government must act with a mandate for 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel by 2030 and a price stability mechanism to upscale Sustainable Aviation Fuels usage, if we are to tackle the industry’s biggest challenge – carbon.”