London Heathrow Airport has reported revenue of £348m (US$481m) for the six months ending June 30, down 51.1% compared with the same period in 2020 (£712m/US$984m).
Prior to the pandemic, Heathrow recorded sales of £1.46bn (US$2.01bn) for the first six months of the year, a 4% increase on the same period the year before (£1.4bn/US$1.93bn).
The airport stated that financing remains resilient, despite cumulative losses arising from the Covid-19 pandemic now reaching £2.9bn (US$4bn).
As passenger demand begins to recover, the airport has found that travel restrictions remain a barrier. Fewer than four million people traveled through Heathrow in the first six months of 2021, a level that would have taken just 18 days to reach in 2019.
Heathrow said that recent changes to the government’s traffic light system are encouraging, but expensive testing requirements and travel restrictions are holding back the UK’s economic recovery and could see the airport welcome fewer passengers in 2021 than in 2020.
Heathrow CEO 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 travelers at the end of July will start to get Britain’s economic recovery off the ground.”
Cargo volume at Heathrow remains 18% down on pre-pandemic levels, while Frankfurt and Schiphol are up by 9%. Trade routes between the EU and the US have recovered to nearly 50% of pre-pandemic levels while the UK remains 92% down.
Heathrow continues to mandate face coverings in the airport and encourage social distancing to protect passengers and colleagues and help rebuild confidence in travel.