Heathrow boss warns Covid’s quarantine restrictions are ‘choking the economy’ as passenger numbers fell by more than 80% last month
Heathrow’s boss has warned that Covid’s quarantine restrictions are “choking the economy,” as passenger numbers fell more than 80 percent last month.
John Holland-Kaye accused the government of playing ‘quarantine roulette’ and accused the introduction of short-term restrictions to wipe out this year’s summer vacation.
The brutal intervention came when Britain’s largest airport revealed the diminishing passenger numbers at what would normally be the height of the summer vacation.
On the air: About 1.4 million traveled via Heathrow last month, 6.3 million less than August last year
About 1.4 million traveled via Heathrow last month, 6.3 million fewer than in August last year. Passenger numbers in North America are down more than 95 percent from last year, with the US remaining on Britain’s ‘red’ travel list due to the high rate of Covid infections.
Heathrow – the UK’s largest port – also said freight imports and exports fell by more than a third (34.2 percent) to 88 tonnes.
Holland-Kaye is one of the most vehement supporters of Mail’s ‘Get Britain Flying Again’ campaign to introduce Covid testing at airports. The government has said it is looking at options to reduce quarantine for those who test negative for Covid-19.
But Heathrow’s boss warned ‘every day that further government slows down will cost British jobs and livelihoods’.
He said: “Britain’s economic recovery is lagging behind. Heathrow traffic figures for August show how much quarantine is stifling the economy. The decision to put Portugal on the quarantine list on Thursday meant that tens of thousands of holidaymakers had to flee the country before restrictions were imposed at 4am today.
Speaking to The Mail, HollandKaye said the summer vacation that most airports and airlines rely on was “completely blown up by the quarantine roulette that has happened.”
“This is a real disaster for British aviation,” he said.