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Heathrow records 97% drop in passenger numbers in April

The airport is calling for the UK to lead the way in developing a common international standard for safe air travel.

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The number of passengers travelling through Heathrow last month was down by around 97% compared with April 2019, the airport has announced (Steve Parsons/PA)

The number of passengers travelling through Heathrow last month was down by around 97% compared with April 2019, the airport has announced (Steve Parsons/PA)

The number of passengers travelling through Heathrow last month was down by around 97% compared with April 2019, the airport has announced (Steve Parsons/PA)

The number of passengers travelling through Heathrow last month was down by around 97% compared with April 2019, the airport has announced.

It expects passenger demand will “remain weak” until governments around the world “deem it safe to lift travel restrictions”.

Heathrow recorded an 18.3% year-on-year decline in demand to 14.6 million passengers between January and March, while earnings before tax and interest fell by 22.4% to £315 million.

We will need to get Britain flying againHeathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye

The airport insisted its financial position is “robust”, with £3.2 billion in liquidity, which is “sufficient to maintain the business at least over the next 12 months, even with no passengers”.

It is calling for the UK to lead the way in developing a common international standard for safe air travel.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow is proud to serve Britain by remaining open for repatriating UK citizens and critical supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment).

“When we have beaten this virus, we will need to get Britain flying again so that the economy can recover as fast as possible.

“That is why we are calling on the UK Government to take a lead in setting a common international standard for safe air travel.”

PA