Gatwick Airport has accused the federal government of failing to benefit from the UK’s “world-leading” coronavirus vaccination programme whereas revealing “very low” passenger numbers.
The UK’s second-largest airport mentioned it dealt with simply 569,000 folks through the first six months of 2021 and made a lack of virtually £245m over the interval regardless of working prices being lowered by a 3rd.
It mentioned that had been aided by its determination to maintain its South Terminal shut since June 2020, pending a pick-up in demand.
We name on Authorities to benefit from our vaccine programme and make journey guidelines easier.
Our 2021 interim outcomes introduced right this moment, present why Authorities should act. We noticed simply 569k passengers and reported a £244.6m loss.
— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) August 13, 2021
Workers prices have been simply shy of fifty% decrease, the airport reported, reflecting a restructuring that was accomplished on the finish of final 12 months that noticed extra its workforce virtually halve to simply 1,750 employees – with a number of the 1,550 affected leaving of their very own accord.
It has half its staff nonetheless on furlough.
Gatwick, like Heathrow earlier this week, mentioned its issues have been a results of the federal government’s COVID journey insurance policies which, it argued, have been an own-goal.
“With over 75% of UK adults double-vaccinated, the UK authorities must benefit from its world-leading vaccination programme to enhance passenger confidence in worldwide journey by considerably simplifying its present journey requirement guidelines.
“The UK is at risk of continuous to lag behind Europe and the US whose a lot easier journey guidelines are enabling passengers to journey extra freely and luxuriate in a lot wanted breaks and reunions with household and associates.
“The UK aviation restoration is much behind international locations in Europe equivalent to France and Germany whose journey bookings are on common over 50% of pre-pandemic ranges whereas within the UK it’s sitting at roughly 16%.”
The airport – owned by VINCI Airports and International Infrastructure Companions – mentioned there ought to be no take a look at necessities for travellers from international locations on the UK’s inexperienced journey checklist or double-vaccinated travellers from amber nations.
It additionally demanded single lateral movement testing for non-vaccinated passengers from an amber nation.
The airport, which misplaced £466m in 2020, mentioned that it had £779m of liquidity together with £624m of money to satisfy its wants for the following 12 months.
Chief government Stuart Wingate added: “I stay sure that Gatwick will recuperate and as a enterprise we’re financially and operationally properly positioned for that.”