Despite aviation struggles, passenger footfall rises at Heathrow airport

As the airport recovers from the coronavirus outbreak, passenger numbers continue to grow. In May, 5.3 million passengers passed through the west London center, up 1.1 million from March.

It’s approximately eight times what it was last year, when the UK’s Covid-19 travel restrictions were in effect.

Terminal 4, which had been shuttered owing to the virus outbreak, will reopen on Tuesday, just in time for the summer rush.

Many Middle Eastern airlines have used the facility in the past, as well as Russian carrier Aeroflot, whose services have been banned due to sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Qatar Airways will be the first airline to restart service from Terminal 4, followed by about 30 others, including Saudi Arabia Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Korean Air.

Heathrow is one of several UK airports that have experienced lengthy lines in recent weeks as the aviation industry battles to keep up with the surge in travel demand due to a personnel shortfall.

The airline industry has struggled to deal with the amount of passengers flying in recent weeks due to an increase in coronavirus-related employee absences in the spring, along with challenges locating and clearing security checks for new personnel.

After the Jubilee half-term, Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye commended Heathrow employees.

He said, “We’re making fantastic progress on our capacity expansion plans.”

“As we develop, we’re working together with airlines and the government to balance supply and demand so that customers can fly through Heathrow with confidence this summer.”

According to the airport, “recent criticism of service standards throughout the sector” demonstrates that its proposal to raise airline prices for utilizing the airport until 2027 is “the appropriate one for customers.”

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is anticipated to put a new ceiling on the airport’s fees this summer; airlines are adamant about not raising rates.

According to Mr. Holland-Kaye, “The CAA must now reach a regulatory agreement that preserves service and resilience levels, encourages investment, and keeps private finance accessible.

“Failure to invest risks deteriorating the passenger experience at a time when flawless operations are more crucial than ever.”

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