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Heathrow worried it might fall behind its European peers

, © LHR

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LONDON - Heathrow Airport posted a 868 million pounds loss for the first six month of 2021. As expensive testing requirements and travel restrictions keep holding back the UK's economic recovery the most important British airport does not rule out to end 2021 with fewer passengers than 2020.

Fewer than 4 million people travelled through Heathrow in the first six months of 2021, "a level that would have taken just 18 days to reach in 2019," Heathrow Airport said Monday.

Cumulative losses from COVID-19 have grown to 2.9 billion pounds. Still, all commitments until October 2022 remain covered even "in the extreme no revenue scenario", the airport said but warned that it might fall behind European and US peers in the next few months.

Cargo volume at Heathrow remains 18 percent down on pre-pandemic levels, while Frankfurt and Schiphol are up by 9 percent. Trade routes between the EU and the US have recovered to nearly 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels while the UK remains 92 percent down.

"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," Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said. "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."
© | Image: Heathrow Airport | 26/07/2021 14:25

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