In 2022, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) intends to handle 45 million people, nearly half of what it did before the pandemic.
“We do not expect that international travel will recover to 2019 levels until at least all travel restrictions (including testing) are removed from all the markets that we serve, at both ends of the route,” Heathrow Airport announced in a statement.
Despite the restart of transatlantic flights in November 2021, travel demand at Heathrow is still 60% lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The poor passenger flow is partly owing to new travel restrictions imposed in late November 2021 as a result of the Omicron strain being discovered.
Business travelers who are “worried about being detained overseas” have recently cancelled flights, according to the airport.
To combat the spread of the Omicron variety, the UK government reintroduced pre-departure checks for all passengers entering in the UK on December 7, 2021, regardless of vaccination status.
People arriving from countries on the red list must self-isolate for 10 days in a controlled quarantine hotel, according to reintroduced guidelines.
“By allowing Brits to isolate at home, Ministers can make sure they are reunited with their loved ones this Christmas.
It would send a strong signal that restrictions on travel will be removed as soon as safely possible to give passengers the confidence to book for 2022, opening up thousands of new jobs for local people at Heathrow,” Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said.