London Heathrow has insisted that the peak summer season has “started well”, as the airport reduced its losses for the first half of 2022.
The UK’s hub airport made an adjusted loss of £321 million for the six months to 30 June, which was down from a loss of £787 million for the same period last year. Revenue rose by 268 per cent to £1.3 billion year-on-year.
Passenger numbers using Heathrow rose to 26.1 million for the half-year compared with just 3.9 million in the first half of 2021 when international travel was effectively banned by government restrictions.
Heathrow said higher traffic and aeronautical charges had been “offset by increased costs as we invested ahead of demand”.
The airport has imposed a daily cap of 100,000 for departing passengers until 11 September in a bid to limit delays and improve service for travellers. Heathrow also repeated its call for airlines to invest in employing more ground handlers, which it said was the current “constraint” on Heathrow’s capacity.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye added: “The summer getaway has started well at Heathrow, thanks to early planning and keeping demand in line with airline ground handler capacity.
“We can’t ignore that Covid has left the aviation sector deeply scarred, and the next few years will need investment to rebuild capacity, with a focus on safety, consumer service, resilience and efficiency.
“Airlines need to recruit and train more ground handlers; airports need to catch up on underinvestment during the Covid years – at Heathrow, that means replacing the Terminal 2 baggage system and new security lanes.”