London Heathrow Airport operated at a loss of £2bn (€2.34bn) in 2020 as the number of passengers in the coronavirus pandemic collapsed to the level last seen in the 1970’s.
Heathrow called on the British government to agree on international standards to allow passengers to start flying again in the summer. The government should also provide tax breaks for airports to get out of the crisis, they added.
The airport, located on the west edge of London, is hoping to reopen passenger markets from mid-May, following a government announcement Monday that it would ease lock measures.
Heathrow is still Britain’s largest airport, but last year it lost the title of Europe’s busiest airport, to Paris ’De Gaulle.
London Airport said on Wednesday it had 22 million passengers in 2020, 73 per cent less than a year earlier. Half of them travelled during January and February, before closing global trips due to Covid-19, they noted.
Heathrow concluded last year with a pre-tax loss of £2bn. In the year before, it operated with a pre-tax profit of £546 million, a report released on Wednesday shows.
Total revenue sank 62 per cent, to £1.2bn. The company, however, points out that they have 3.9 billion pounds at their disposal that could keep it afloat until 2023.
Heathrow is owned by, among others, the Spanish giant in the transport infrastructure segment Ferrovial and Qatari and Chinese Stabilization Funds, Reuters notes.