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Recovery at UK airports slower than expected

Aviation revenues across the world have fallen to record-breaking lows. As the flight industry plays a pivotal role in commerce, transport, and other departments, the economies of cities have deteriorated.

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, airports around the world have seen a massive decrease in passenger traffic. This has caused great losses to airports and their staff. Airports across the globe have failed to tackle this situation pragmatically which has resulted in no contemporary improvement. Air travel has reduced greatly mainly due to fear in the general public. Even now as the virus is past its peak, many aviation companies are struggling. Aviation revenues across the world have fallen to record-breaking lows. As the flight industry plays a pivotal role in commerce, transport, and other departments, the economies of cities have deteriorated.

A great doom in Europe's airports ranking
According to a recent report published by ACI Europe (Airports Council International), we can see a cataclysmic collapse with passenger traffic during this pandemic on European airports. ACI has presented world data outlines that show a 91.3 percent downswing in this traffic in the month of May 2020. During the month of June 2020 – UK airports like Stansted Airport were at risk of closure as flights drop 90 percent. Also, Stansted airport arrivals were affected by the pandemic. Since the UK went into lockdown 9 out of 10 flights have been prevented from flying. London is the main attraction of the UK and has six major airports:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Stansted Airport
  • Luton  Airport
  • Southend Airport
  • City Airport business airport 

Aviation Europe seems to be the hardest hit
The Airports Council International Europe has propagated a detailed analysis of the effect COVID 19 had on European airports. The report was divided into three sections, one of each half of the year with an intervening report of July 2020. It clearly shows how the airports of Europe which were once filled with a stream of passengers, are now rather desolate. In the first six months of 2020, the air traffic decreased by a whopping 64.2 percent and it almost came close to 100 percent in the first quarter of the second half. Overall a drop of 96.4 percent occurred when this information was compared to the statistics of 2019. 

All airports reported that cargo flights were still continuing and shareholders had decided to cut costs in order to keep things running.

One the other hand, outside of Europe things seem to go the way they normally do. Reports have stated that non-European aviation has suffered remarkably less. With only a 59.8 percent drop as compared to Europe’s 65.6 percent, this is a praiseworthy achievement. Although this may have to do with the robust regulations in Europe during the lockdown. Services by air have been ongoing outside of Europe even before the lockdown was instigated.

Effect on UKs airports during the pandemic
Moving on to the United Kingdom, which has had extremely strict regulations during the coronavirus outbreak. Things started to look weak for the UK in June 2020 when the government imposed restrictions on travel and advised citizens to only come out of their homes when necessary. Airports throughout the UK have faced a decline in the European ranking of international airports. Even the famous Heathrow Airport could not maintain its rank and fell. The ACI contended that a solid industry was critical to the nation's monetary recuperation as carriers downsize armadas and administrations – incapable to see recuperation in traveler numbers for quite a long while. These rankings kept fluctuating each week as new statistics were reported. 

For example, London Gatwick fell from its lofty seat of the tenth to ninety-two. Every airport faced a massive decrease in the number of passengers.

Many have declared a state of emergency to continue working during the virus. Chairpersons have declared that around 110,000 people will lose their jobs. The ACI has told the government that a revenue loss of two billion pounds occurred in the first four months of the pandemic. It warned that in the next months, double damage could happen. Sources say that early aid from the treasury has failed to resolve matters.

The cause behind the slow recovery of UK flights is due to the…
Travel restrictions
Since the past few weeks of July 2020, the process of recovery from the pandemic has decreased. This is due to the various states re-imposing travel restrictions-in particular the sudden decision by the UK government to require passengers from Spain to quarantine themselves upon arrival to the UK

Cargo affecting aviation
The capacity of global air cargo is down by 35 percent. Only 20% of the belly cargo is still flying.  The capacity of freighters has been stable for the past four weeks.

Julian Bray, a well-known aviation expert and broadcaster declared that some aircraft might never able to “make it back to the sky”. “We will see some smaller airports become nonoperational unless a rescue deal can be arranged’’. He said that the expected passenger numbers will drop even when the restrictions will be lifted as majority of people would choose not to travel.

Some are getting one or two departures a day but it’s quite bleak at the very moment