LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday urged Britain to open up travel to vaccinated passengers after its recovery lagged behind Europe, bringing its cumulative pandemic losses to 4 billion of dollars.
Heathrow, which before the pandemic was Europe’s busiest airport, said less than four million people passed through the airport in the first half of 2021, a level that would have been surpassed in 18 traffic days of 2019 .
He said he now believes 21.5 million passengers will pass through Heathrow in 2021, driven by what he hopes is pent-up demand for vacations.
“The UK (…) is falling behind its EU rivals in international trade by delaying lifting restrictions,” Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said in a statement on Monday.
The UK travel industry continues to be plagued by an increase in COVID-19 cases at home and government caution, prompting last minute rule changes and cancellations.
Heathrow said it had increased its liquidity to 4.8 billion pounds ($ 6.60 billion) and requested a waiver of its ICR commitment from Heathrow Finance for fiscal 2021 due to pressures on its cash flow.
For the six months ended June 30, Heathrow recorded an adjusted pre-tax loss of 787 million pounds ($ 1.08 billion), compared to 471 million losses for the same period last year which was not affected only half by the pandemic.
($ 1 = 0.7274 pounds)
Reportage de Sarah Young; Montage par Kate Holton/Guy Faulconbridge
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