HEATHROW AIRPORT, the busiest in Britain, said that passenger numbers slumped 73 per cent during 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions wiped out travel.
The airport said on Monday(11) that its annual cargo volumes also fell 28 per cent as fewer passenger planes meant there was less space available for goods.
For December, Heathrow said that passenger numbers plunged 83 per cent as the new strain of Covid-19 led to countries restricting travellers from Britain and millions of passengers were forced to cancel plans.
The numbers capped off a dismal year for the UK hub, which in October lost its title as the busiest airport in Europe to Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
Meanwhile, people entering England and Scotland will have to show a negative Covid-19 test result starting next week as authorities try to ramp up protection against new, more infectious strains of the coronavirus from other countries.
Passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test a maximum of 72 hours before departure, mirroring measures taken last year by other countries around the world.
Britain’s airlines industry recognised the need to introduce pre-departure testing but said it should be only a short-term, emergency measure.
“What we’d like to see is that testing before you take off becomes the standard as an alternative to quarantine,” said John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Britain’s biggest airport Heathrow.
Travel to and from Britain has been almost wiped out by Covid-19 and the quarantine requirements, leaving many airlines and airports fighting for survival.