Heathrow loses 6.3 million passengers in April
By Neil Lancefield
Heathrow lost nearly 6.3 million passengers in April compared with the same month in 2019, figures published by the airport show.
Just 536,000 people travelled through the west London airport last month, a 92% reduction on the total for April 2019.
The ban on overseas leisure travel from England will be lifted on Monday as part of the next easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye criticised the Government’s decision to only put a handful of countries on its green travel list.
People returning to England from destinations in the green tier do not need to self-isolate but are required to take one post-arrival PCR test.
Those arriving from somewhere on the amber list – which makes up most popular holiday destinations – must quarantine at home for 10 days and take two post-arrival tests.
Mr Holland-Kaye said: “The Government’s green list is very welcome but they need to expand it massively in the next few weeks to include other low-risk markets such as the United States, and remove the need for fully-vaccinated passengers to take two expensive PCR tests.
“Border Force’s claims that ‘long queues in immigration are inevitable’ smack of complacency. They are completely avoidable if ministers ensure that all desks are staffed at peak times.”
Border Force director-general Paul Lincoln warned on Friday that arriving passengers must accept there will be increased delays, and it could take up to 15 times longer to process people than before the pandemic due to extra checks being carried out.