Heathrow urges UK ministers to provide support to sector

Passenger numbers have sat at 90% below pre-pandemic levels since last March 

London Heathrow is calling on the government to provide the UK aviation sector with further support after 15 months of suppressed demand.  

Last month, the government announced the new traffic light system which was designed to restart low-risk travel. However, the industry is concerned that the initiative is not achieving what it is designed to do, with ministers failing to be transparent regarding the latest travel data.  

Heathrow Airport
Photo London Heathrow Airport 

Heathrow is urging to government to rely on scientific factors to help restart air travel at the next review on June 28. From there, the airport is advising that those with the Covid-19 vaccine should be able to move around without complying with the current safety measures.  

Additionally, the London hub has stated that a support package should be created for those within the industry. This includes an extension of the furlough scheme and business rates relief.  

Reopening transatlantic routes is also critical to both the UK and the US. CEOs of American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow came together recently to reiterate this.  

G7 leaders are being encouraged to place more of a focus on climate change. Many carriers within the member states have committed to net-zero flying by 2050, which will only be possible with the implementation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).  

Therefore, Heathrow is calling upon international governments to commit to escalating mandates of 10% SAF use by 2030.  

“With the G7 starting today, ministers have a chance to kickstart the green global recovery by agreeing how to resume international travel safely and setting a mandate for sustainable aviation fuels that will decarbonise aviation.  This is the time for them to show global leadership,” said John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow.