Heathrow airport was the busiest airport in Europe before the coronavirus pandemic as it loses its position out of the top 10 in August. However, the airport had only 18 percent of the passengers in that month as compared to the same month in 2019.
As the UK aviation industry is still struggling with the pandemic crisis. Heathrow has been overtaken by its three traditional giant rivals, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris Charles de Gaulle.
According to an analysis four Russian and three Turkish airports had more passengers than Heathrow. Therefore bringing it down to the 11th position.
However, the top position is the Moscow Domodedovo. After this is the Russian capital’s second airport, Sheremetyevo.
The third Moscow airport, Vnokovo, makes the top 10, as does St Petersburg’s Pulkovo.
Mr. Anker said that was due to special circumstances, “Russian domestic air travel was almost at 2019 levels in August. Thanks to locals taking their summer holidays at resort destinations within Russia on the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea.”
Domestic Travel in Turkey
However, strong domestic travel in Turkey helped both the Istanbul airports to leave Heathrow behind. In addition, the southern city of Antalya, which is serving resorts in southern Turkey took seventh place.
Turkey was on the safe travel list of the UK. Therefore in August British holidaymakers could travel to Turkey without needing to self-isolate for two weeks on their return.
However, quarantine is not applicable to all returning travelers from almost all countries. Whereas the UK’s infection rates are far higher than most nations.
The Struggling Airlines
With carriers including EasyJet and Ryanair cutting back flights as demand dries up. Mr. Anker said, “Governments across Europe and around the world appear to be doing their level best to kill off the demand for air travel by introducing ever more quarantine requirements or even just complete travel bans.”
In September the figures show that was released this morning by Heathrow, traffic remained at 18 percent of the 2019 level.
However, just 40,000 passengers passed through the UK’s busiest airport on an average day last month. As compared with 220,000 before the Covid-19 crisis.
Government Quarantine Requirements
Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, says that the UK aviation industry needs prompt action from the government. That will allow more people to travel and help the aviation industry to recover.
“Implementing ‘test and release’ after five days of quarantine would kickstart the economy,” he said.
In addition, he said, “But the government could show real leadership by working with the US to develop a common international standard for pre-departure testing that would mean that only Covid-free passengers are allowed to travel from high-risk countries.”
Mr. Holland-Kaye has said that a link between Heathrow and New York JFK could be established by November.