Heathrow passenger numbers finally back to normal
Sky news is reporting that passenger volume at Heathrow airport has finally returned to pre pandemic levels for the first time since the Covid virus first arrived in the UK in 2020.
Overall traffic has increased by around 22% when compared with last year, suggesting that business as usual has finally been established. The data suggests that short haul flights had already returned to normal some time ago, but that long haul and business travel were slower to recover. This has meant that some airlines have been able to bounce back quicker than others, with carries such as Easyjet and Ryanair experiencing solid business already for some time.
All this is no mean feat considering that passenger figures as recent as 2020 and 2021 were virtually non-existent, leading to thousands of staff finding careers elsewhere. The airline industry has shown great resilience in this regard, managing to fill and train a multitude of different roles and on a scale that is unprecedented to date.
It remains to be seen how this might affect the long anticipated third runway at the airport. Before Covid times it appeared to be a formality, but dwindling numbers since then have stalled the project and there’s been little indication that it’s likely to happen any time soon. Indeed, competition from other airports appear to be hotting up, which could further delay or even scupper plans altogether. So, whilst it’s clearly good news that we're “back to normal”, the future’s far from certain.
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