Heathrow Airport witnesses signs of recovery

 Friday, August 13, 2021 

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Heathrow Airport recently revealed that the airport has seen 74 per cent increase in passenger numbers as compared to the same month last year after gradual easing of travel restrictions throughout July. The airport said in a statement that the progress could be the start of a long-awaited recovery in the travel sector.

With consumer confidence on the rise, over 1.5 million travellers passed through Heathrow last month, marking the highest monthly passenger numbers since March last year. North American passenger numbers grew by nearly 230 per cent year-on-year, and New York JFK reclaimed the top spot as the most popular route from Heathrow.

Heathrow has also decided to further increase its transatlantic offering, while welcoming American carrier jetBlue. As of now, fully vaccinated US visitors do not need quarantine on the UK. However, the same is not applicable in the US. Despite signs of recovery, passenger numbers continue to remain down over 80 per cent on pre-pandemic July 2019, as travel barrier stay in place.

As the cost of testing in the UK remains a concern, the industry is requesting to scrap VAT and urging to use cheaper lateral flow for low-risk destinations. Emma Gilthorpe, COO, Heathrow said in a statement that at last some blue skies are on the horizon, as travel and trade routes are slowly reopening.

However she said that the job is far from complete urging government to capitalise on the vaccine dividend and seize the opportunity to replace expensive PCR tests with more affordable lateral flow tests. She shared that such an action will ensure that travel remains attainable for hardworking Brits, desperate for well-earned getaways and keen to reunite with loved ones before the closure of summer travel window.

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