Heathrow demands Covid testing is stopped as 600,000 people cancelled Christmas flights

Istanbul Airport has already outpaced Heathrow by passenger numbers, welcoming around 23.4 million people last year, and is likely to become Europe's number one airport for 2020. Heathrow is also set to fall behind Paris Charles de Gaulle. France’s main airport served some 21.1 million passengers in the January-November period, one million less than Heathrow had for the whole year. Global air hubs saw annual passenger numbers plummet between 70 and 80 percent for the pandemic year, but some hubs logged smaller declines, allowing them to rise in the rankings. For example, the largest Russian airport in terms of passenger and cargo traffic, Sheremetyevo International Airport, climbed three spots in the list of busiest European air hubs and now sits in fifth place. Sheremetyevo served 19.8 million passengers last year. image: HT press media

Heathrow Airport has demanded a stop to all Covid testing for fully-vaccinated people.

Heathrow Airport has demanded a stop to all Covid testing for fully-vaccinated people as well as revealing that “at least” 600,000 people cancelled their flights over December.
Heathrow said “swiftly imposed” action during December in a bid to tackle the Omicron variant during Christmas caused uncertainty among travellers who faced having to fork out more for costly PCR tests.
It also said that despite the lifting of UK rules last week for people arriving in the country, it is still unclear when demand will return.
Travellers also no longer have to isolate until they receive a negative PCR test and instead need to take a lateral flow test at the end of day two after arriving in the country.
Heathrow has urged governments to further end restrictions to help the wider travel sector.
Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “There are currently travel restrictions, such as testing, on all Heathrow routes – the aviation industry will only fully recover when these are all lifted and there is no risk that they will be reimposed at short notice, a situation which is likely to be years away.”
Heathrow revealed that it carried fewer passengers last year than when the pandemic began in 2020 – when lockdowns across the world forced job cuts and it suffered a £2bn annual loss.
The airport is hoping for a boost through a new five-year agreement on the charges is imposes on each traveller via airline ticket prices, however, airlines are furious at the proposal that could see Heathrow charge passengers 50 per cent more.
Mr Holland-Kaye said of the settlement talks: “The regulator must focus on an outcome that improves service, incentivises growth and maintains affordable private financing.”
The airport is set to reveal its 2021 annual results next month.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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