Paris Charles de Gaulle had taken Heathrow’s position as Europe’s busiest airport. And the west London hub is reporting rising losses.
However, there were about 19.0 million passengers traveled through Heathrow in the first nine months of the year. Whereas in the airport in Paris about 19.3 million passengers traveled.
Heathrow shows concerns that the Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt are “close behind”. It also emphasizes that these three airports have the coronavirus testing regimes implemented at their airports.
Losses For the Year
However, the losses for the first nine months of the year at Heathrow are of £1.5 billion.
Moreover, passenger traffic declined by 84% between July and September as compared to the same time in 2019.
Third-quarter revenue fell by 72% year on year to £239 million, while earnings before tax and interest dropped to £37 million.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said, “Britain is falling behind because we’ve been too slow to embrace passenger testing.”
“European leaders acted quicker and now their economies are reaping the benefits.”
In addition, he said, “Paris has overtaken Heathrow as Europe’s largest airport for the first time ever. And Frankfurt and Amsterdam are quickly gaining ground.”
“Let’s make Britain a winner again.”
Moreover, “Bringing in pre-departure Covid tests and partnering with our US allies to open a pilot air bridge to America will kick-start our economic recovery and put the UK back ahead of our European rivals.”
Launching a Taskforce
As a result, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launched a taskforce. That will find ways of reducing the 14-day self-isolation period for people arriving in the UK from non-exempt locations.
He said the Government is considering a “test and release regime” which would still involve a quarantine period of at least a week.
Heathrow insisted its finances “remain robust”, with £4.5 billion of liquidity.
It said its cash reserves are “sufficient for the next 12 months even under an extreme scenario with no revenue”.
Industry body ACI Europe says that nearly 200 airports across the continent face insolvency in the coming months unless demand for air travel starts to recover by the end of the year.
Heathrow said it is “extremely disappointed” with the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) decision to refuse to approve its plan to raise fees, which would enable it to “recover excess losses incurred during 2020-2021 over an extended period of time”.
It declared it will “respond robustly” to the regulator’s request for further evidence.