Heathrow urges Ministers to reunite families for Christmas
Heathrow warns that new Government-imposed travel restrictions further dampen passenger confidence as demand down by 60% on pre-pandemic levels, despite the US reopening earlier in the month.
High level of cancelations by business travelers concerned about being trapped overseas because of pre-departure testing shows the potential harm to the economy of travel restrictions.
Heathrow urges Ministers to reduce restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so and to allow UK nationals from red list countries to isolate at home so that they can be reunited with loved ones for Christmas.
If the Government signals that aviation could restart soon, that will give employers at Heathrow the confidence to start recruiting and training thousands of people from the local community ahead of next summer.
Heathrow forecasts a slow start to 2022, finishing next year with around 45 million passengers – only just over half of the airport’s pre-pandemic levels. This aligns closely with the forecast published by the CAA in its Initial Proposals, and that of the airlines’ international trade body, IATA, which predicts global passenger numbers in 2022 will be about 60% of 2019 levels.
Heathrow does not expect that international travel will recover to 2019 levels until at least all travel restrictions (including testing) are removed from all the markets that we serve, at both ends of the route, and there is no risk of new restrictions, such as quarantine, being imposed. This is likely to be several years away.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“By allowing Brits to isolate at home, Ministers can make sure they are reunited with their loved ones this Christmas. It would send a strong signal that restrictions on travel will be removed as soon as safely possible to give passengers the confidence to book for 2022, opening up thousands of new jobs for local people at Heathrow. Let’s reunite families for Christmas.”