London Heathrow has reported a £684 million loss for the 2022 financial year, despite seeing 62 million passengers walk through its doors after the UK’s borders reopened in March following two years of closures.
Despite almost halving its losses from the previous year (£1,270 million reported in 2021) – and reportedly growing more than any other airport in the world – the UK hub airport said profitability was affected by inflation and insufficient regulated charges.
The airport’s post-pandemic recovery was crippled by a cap on daily passenger numbers due to staff shortages and a lingering threat of disruption due to ground handler and refuelling staff strikes.
In a statement the airport said the rapid return of travellers was “challenging operationally”, but that feedback from “the vast majority of passengers was that they received great service”.
The airport also stated that service is “getting back to pre-pandemic levels”, however it acknowledged that the “loss of skills deeply scarred the global aviation sector and it will take some time to fully recover”.
In the last 18 months, more than 25,000 people have started work at Heathrow, with the airport claiming resource levels are now “close to pre-pandemic levels”. The focus, it said is now on improving skills, experience and building resilience.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, who recently announced his resignation, said: “2022 may have been a year of recovery, but 2023 is shaping up to be a year of renewal for Heathrow.
“Our teams have already delivered a successful Christmas and half-term getaway, and with a great investment plan in place, we are determined to once again rank in the top 10 airports for service.”
Heathrow recently announced plans to triple the percentage of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) used at the airport this year.