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Aviation in for long-haul recovery as Omicron causes at least 600,000 passe

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Aviation in for long-haul recovery as Omicron causes at least 600,000 passengers to cancel travel plans in December from Heathrow

 
  • COVID-19 continues to pose significant challenges for the travel industry, with Heathrow welcoming only 19.4 million passengers in 2021 – less than one quarter of 2019 and below even 2020 levels
  • At least 600,000 passengers cancelled travel plans from Heathrow in December due to Omicron and the uncertainty caused by swiftly imposed government travel restrictions
  • There is significant doubt over the speed at which demand will recover. IATA forecasts suggest passenger numbers will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2025, provided travel restrictions are removed at both ends of a route and passengers have confidence they will not return rapidly
  • We are urging the UK government to remove all testing now for fully vaccinated passengers and to adopt a playbook for any future Variants of Concern that is more predictable, limits additional measures only to passengers from high-risk destinations and allows quarantine at home instead of in a hotel
  • This creates enormous uncertainty for the CAA in setting a new five-year regulatory settlement. We believe that the focus should be on improving passenger service, aligning incentives for airlines and airports to work together to rebuild passenger demand and maintaining affordable private financing in uncertain times. This is a chance to safeguard a world-leading hub airport for Britain and avoid a return to the “Heathrow hassle” days of the early 2000s, undermining the UK’s global trading ambitions

Heathrow CEO 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. While this creates enormous uncertainty for the CAA in setting a new 5 year regulatory settlement, it means the regulator must focus on an outcome that improves service, incentivises growth and maintains affordable private financing.” 

 

Traffic Summary

           
             

December 2021

         
             

Terminal Passengers
(000s)

 Dec 2021

% Change

Jan to
Dec 2021

% Change

Jan 2021 to
Dec 2021

% Change

Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK

             226

173.6

          1,768

21.1

          1,768

21.1

EU

             815

134.0

          7,258

-9.9

          7,258

-9.9

Non-EU Europe

             212

161.9

          1,537

-13.8

          1,537

-13.8

Africa

             167

55.2

          1,040

-9.4

          1,040

-9.4

North America

             798

540.4

          3,338

-13.6

          3,338

-13.6

Latin America

             116

172.1

             413

-4.3

             413

-4.3

Middle East

             483

114.6

          2,301

-6.6

          2,301

-6.6

Asia / Pacific

             304

131.3

          1,739

-40.3

          1,739

-40.3

Total

          3,122

173.0

         19,393

-12.3

         19,393

-12.3

             
             

Air Transport Movements

 Dec 2021

% Change

Jan to
Dec 2021

% Change

Jan 2021 to
Dec 2021

% Change

Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK

          2,118

113.3

         17,214

13.5

         17,214

13.5

EU

          9,792

173.1

         72,559

-11.9

         72,559

-11.9

Non-EU Europe

          2,102

165.7

         14,433

-14.7

         14,433

-14.7

Africa

          1,006

32.7

          7,886

5.7

          7,886

5.7

North America

          4,559

99.6

         34,773

0.2

         34,773

0.2

Latin America

             609

90.3

          3,157

6.6

          3,157

6.6

Middle East

          2,003

33.4

         17,044

2.5

         17,044

2.5

Asia / Pacific

          2,443

14.2

         22,966

-6.9

         22,966

-6.9

Total

         24,632

99.1

       190,032

-5.4

       190,032

-5.4

             
             

Cargo
(Metric Tonnes)

 Dec 2021

% Change

Jan to
Dec 2021

% Change

Jan 2021 to
Dec 2021

% Change

Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK

               10

109.5

             220

-9.7

             220

-9.7

EU

          9,093

7.1

       121,195

59.3

       121,195

59.3

Non-EU Europe

          5,151

-12.3

         67,602

46.8

         67,602

46.8

Africa

          8,581

0.1

         77,595

12.2

         77,595

12.2

North America

         45,616

44.3

       481,733

24.6

       481,733

24.6

Latin America

          3,109

-5.9

         23,490

-30.4

         23,490

-30.4

Middle East

         19,471

5.4

       228,617

8.0

       228,617

8.0

Asia / Pacific

         36,157

11.1

       402,461

25.7

       402,461

25.7

Total

       127,188

16.8

    1,402,913

22.6

    1,402,913

22.6

This press release was sourced from London Heathrow Airport on 11-Jan-2022.