Heathrow Airport, traditionally the busiest in Europe, forecast that passenger demand would plunge by over 90 per cent in April, as coronavirus restrictions stop most people from travelling.
Heathrow said today that its passenger numbers were down 52 per cent in March compared with the same period last year, with many of those journeys being made by Britons returning home from abroad.
The airport, which is owned by a group of investors including Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, said it was now only using one of its two runways, as flights continue for cargo.
Heathrow said the move to one runway would help save costs and help protect long-term jobs at the airport.
Heathrow said the traffic slowdown was expected to lead to “lasting and significant industry-wide effects”.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow continues to serve the nation by keeping vital supply lines open, and helping people get home. Now is the time to agree a common international standard for healthcare screening in airports so that when this crisis recedes, people can travel with confidence and we can get the British economy moving again.”