Largely grounded route network continues to strangle UK economy

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Largely grounded route network continues to strangle UK economy
  • Over 860,000 passengers travelled through Heathrow in July, down 88% on the previous year. This reflects a slight uplift in passenger traffic, since the start of this crisis, driven by the Government’s creation of the first ‘travel corridors’ on July 4th.
  • More than half of these passengers, over 480,000, ventured to European destinations to make the most of the 2020 summer season, quarantine free.
  • The vast majority of Heathrow’s route network (60%) remains grounded, requiring a 14-day quarantine on arrival, preventing the UK from travelling to and trading with these countries. Airport testing could safely open up these routes and kickstart the UK’s economic recovery.
  • Over 88,000 metric tonnes of cargo travelled through Heathrow in July, with cargo gradually shifting from freighters to the belly hold of passenger planes. However, 60% is still travelling on cargo only flights compared to five per cent prior to the crisis. Cargo volumes continue to be impacted by the decline of long-haul passenger traffic.
  • Heathrow has unveiled a range of measures such as UV robots, UV handrail technology, Fly Safe pit stops and Hygiene technicians to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 at the airport.
  • Airlines at Heathrow revealed a new summer route network, offering more choice of short-haul, leisure routes at lower prices to numerous destinations including Dubrovnik, Genoa and Verona.
  • Domestic carrier, Eastern Airways has announced plans to operate from Heathrow for the first-time and strengthen the airport’s domestic route network. The airline will be using the airport’s additional capacity to launch flights between Teesside International Airport and Heathrow from September onwards.
Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Tens of thousands of jobs are being lost because Britain remains cut off from critical markets such as the US, Canada and Singapore. The government can save jobs by introducing testing to cut quarantine from higher risk countries, while keeping the public safe from a second wave of COVID.“

Traffic Summary
July 2020
Terminal Passengers
Jul 2020% ChangeJan to
Jul 2020
% ChangeAug 2019 to
Jul 2020
% Change
Non-EU Europe97-82.41,221-63.23,600-37.0
North America70-96.23,392-68.411,484-38.2
Latin America7-94.2327-59.6901-34.4
Middle East75-89.91,803-58.25,236-31.1
Asia / Pacific59-94.42,342-64.97,153-38.1
Air Transport Movements Jul 2020% ChangeJan to
Jul 2020
% ChangeAug 2019 to
Jul 2020
% Change
Non-EU Europe940-74.611,377-55.729,263-33.5
North America1,841-75.523,829-50.958,747-29.5
Latin America171-66.61,841-48.04,308-29.3
Middle East1,002-62.510,370-40.723,472-22.4
Asia / Pacific1,454-64.115,290-44.535,089-26.2
(Metric Tonnes)
Jul 2020% ChangeJan to
Jul 2020
% ChangeAug 2019 to
Jul 2020
% Change
Non-EU Europe3,588-25.520,860-36.944,789-22.4
North America27,799-37.7229,778-31.7458,395-22.9
Latin America2,669-41.017,621-45.539,647-29.3
Middle East18,455-18.3120,488-18.7231,441-9.8
Asia / Pacific24,965-36.0175,428-36.3366,916-25.9
I agree with the LHR CEO.

Testing passengers from specific countries might not be foolproof as infections might not always be present at the time but appear a day or two later.

However, the quarantine system we have is not foolproof either. It seems to be accepted by government that only a small proportion of those in quarantine will be checked by the contact people, and most by phone which can be manipulated. Given the high number of people who ignore social distancing and other restrictions why does the government think that most people will honour the quarantine system?
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