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Surge in air passengers as 1.3m fly into UK airports in July

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Surge in air passengers as 1.3m fly into UK airports in July

Surge in air passengers as 1.3m fly into UK airports in July after just 200,000 each month in April, May and June – but arrivals are just a TENTH of total who landed in July 2019

  • Home Office figures suggest UK airports took in 1.3million arrivals during July 
  • It’s the highest number in months, but nearly 90 per cent lower than July 2019 
  • Yesterday Gatwick Airport announced it was axing 600 jobs due to pandemic  

The number of passengers flying into UK airports surged to 1.3million people in July – compared to just 200,000 arriving in each month during April, May and June.

But the surge in arrivals last month is just a tenth of the number who flew into Britain during July last year.

Figures released by the Home Office today make dim reading for the struggling aviation industry.

A day after Gatwick announced it was cutting up to 600 jobs, today’s passenger numbers show the number of arrivals compared to July 2019 is down by 89 per cent.

Around 11.1million people flew into the UK’s airports 13 months ago, compared to 1.3million arrivals last month.

Heathrow Airport was one of the hardest hit, just 867,000 people travelled through the West London airport last month, compared with 7.7million at the same time last year.

Passenger numbers arriving in the UK have fallen by 89 per cent compared to July last year. At Heathrow just 867,000 people travelled through the West London airport last month, compared with 7.7million at the same time last year

Passenger numbers arriving in the UK have fallen by 89 per cent compared to July last year. At Heathrow just 867,000 people travelled through the West London airport last month, compared with 7.7million at the same time last year

It had been hoped the summer holidays would provide a boost for the struggling industry, but quarantine measures have curbed holidays. 

Gatwick Airport is operating at around 20 per cent of its capacity and has around 75 per cent of its staff on furlough. 

Last week budget airline easyJet annouced closures of its bases in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle in a cost-cutting drive – as Ryanair reduced its flight capacity by a fifth. 

Paul Charles, the chief executive of the PC Agency travel consultancy, told MailOnline last week: ‘The government’s quarantine policy is scarring the UK economy now and the dogged pursuit of that policy is hurting the travel sector. It’s causing anxiety among consumers. 

‘It’s hurting companies like airlines and Eurostar and it’s saying to companies around the world that Britain is closed for business

Gatwick Airport is set to make up to 600 people redundancy after struggling to cope financially during the Covid-19 pandemic

Gatwick Airport is set to make up to 600 people redundancy after struggling to cope financially during the Covid-19 pandemic

‘We can’t continue with this highly damaging policy that is hurting the economy.

‘The government needs to invest more in testing. They have got to abandon the quarantine measure in their current form.

‘How many jobs need to go before they realise how much damage this is doing?’

EasyJet confirmed it would close its bases in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, which currently have 670 members of staff.

Elsewhere Ryanair will slash flight capacity by a fifth over the next two months as bookings slump over fears passengers will have to quarantine for 14 days, depending on where they go on holiday.

Last month Ryanair slashed flight capacity by a fifth over a drop in the number of passenger bookings, while Easyjet announced it was closing bases in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, which currently have 670 members of staff

Last month Ryanair slashed flight capacity by a fifth over a drop in the number of passenger bookings, while Easyjet announced it was closing bases in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, which currently have 670 members of staff

The budget airline has said the number of passengers booking flights has dropped in the past 10 days, due to ‘uncertainty over recent Covid case rates in some EU countries’. 

British Airways, which grounded its Gatwick fleet in March following the outbreak of Covid-19, had said that all short-haul flights from Gatwick will be consolidated into Heathrow until at least September. 

BA itself announced it would be forced to cut hundreds of jobs at Gatwick in a bid to stay afloat during the fallout of the coronavirus. 

It comes after Airbus, Europe’s biggest aircraft maker, announced plans to slash nearly 15,000 jobs across its global operations – including 1,700 in the UK.

Earlier today Rolls Royce reported a £5.4billion loss in the first half of 2020 as its CEO announced it had halved the number of aircraft engines it had built so far this year – after shedding 4,000 jobs. 

Chief executive Warren East said: ‘About 4,000 people so far this year have left the organisation, that’s spread across the whole group, the UK Germany, Singapore, all around the world.

‘It includes about 2,500 voluntary redundancies and early retirements in the UK and we expect to be at about 5,000 by the end of this year.

‘We simply don’t need the scale of manufacturing facilities that we have, what we’re doing is consolidating things to achieve greater efficiency where we do make things.’

The cuts will reduce the frequency of flights from countries such as Spain, France and Sweden, it said.

Jet2 also announced it was making 102 pilots redundant.  

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