After 4 billion dollars in losses, Heathrow asks the United Kingdom to reopen travel

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Por Sarah Young

LONDON, Jul 26 (Reuters) – London’s Heathrow Airport asked Britain on Monday to reopen travel for vaccinated passengers after its recovery lagged behind other air terminals in the rest of Europe, raising its accumulated losses during the pandemic to 4,000 million dollars.

Heathrow, which was Europe’s busiest airport before the pandemic, said Britain’s travel restrictions were hitting business volumes and traveler demand, and quick government action was needed or jobs would be lost. .

Passenger levels at Heathrow were between 20 and 25% of their pre-pandemic volumes, while European airports are already back at around 50%, Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said.

“Without passenger jets going to global markets like the United States, UK exports will not leave the country, and the UK will be left behind and that will cost jobs, unless we open up,” he told Reuters on Monday. .

Heathrow wants the UK to allow fully vaccinated people from the US and the European Union to travel to Britain without being quarantined for 10 days, and says the level of openness would help drive a stronger recovery.

“The Europeans have already opened up unilaterally with the United States and got the benefits of doing so. There is no reason why the United Kingdom should not do the same,” he said, adding that he believed it could happen as soon as this week.

For all of 2021, Heathrow forecast that 21.5 million passengers would travel through its terminals, a big jump from 4 million in the first six months of the year as restrictions ease and travel demand grows, but a far cry from the 81 million who used its facilities in 2019.

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Holland-Kaye said he was encouraged by a recent rebound as school holidays began. Separately, Ryanair said it was having plenty of bookings in the summer.

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