Britain’s Heathrow Airport has reported an almost 90 percent plunge in passenger numbers, as the CCP virus pandemic continues to paralyze global air travel.
Over 860,000 passengers travelled through Heathrow in July, down 88 percent on the previous year, though it reflects a slight uplift in traffic since the start of this crisis, Heathrow said in a statement.
Some 60 percent of Heathrow’s route network remains grounded, the company said, as passengers arriving from countries not on the UK government’s safe travel list are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, has hit the global airline industry hard.
British Airways (BA) is prepared to cut more than a quarter of its jobs—affecting over 12,000 employees, and retire its entire Boeing 747 fleet.
Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa, which flew just 4 percent of prior-year passengers between April and June, plans to cut 22,000 full-time jobs.
Heathrow’s management has urged the UK government to save jobs by replacing quarantine orders with testing at airports.
“Tens of thousands of jobs are being lost because Britain remains cut off from critical markets such as the U.S., Canada, and Singapore,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said in the statement.
“The government can save jobs by introducing testing to cut quarantine from higher risk countries, while keeping the public safe from a second wave of COVID.”
In July, over half of the passengers travelling through Heathrow (more than 480,000) went to European destinations that were deemed safe by the government, the company said.
But due to fears of a second wave of infections in Europe, Britain has re-imposed quarantine on arrivals from Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Andorra.
The Bahamas, a popular holiday destination in the Caribbean, was also put on the quarantine list.
Britain will not hesitate to add more countries to its quarantine list, said Finance Minister Rishi Sunak last Friday.
Reuters contributed to this report.