Heathrow has called on the government to “show real leadership” and commit to decarbonising aviation amid a fall in passenger numbers.
The London-based airport was the busiest in Europe prior to the Covid-19 pandemic but has seen a sharp decline in passengers as a result of Covid related travel restrictions. The travel hub today revealed that 2.5m holiday makers flew from the travel hub last month putting passenger numbers at 40 per cent of pre pandemic levels.
Airport CEO, John Holland-Kaye said the government should commit to curbing the environmental impact of the aviation industry and said “we should aim for 2019 to have been the peak year for fossil fuel use in global aviation.”
“The UK Government can show real leadership in decarbonising aviation at COP26, by setting a progressively increasing mandate and a plan to use contracts for difference to accelerate the transition to Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the UK, which will protect the benefits of flying for future generations,” Holland-Kaye added.
It comes as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) passed a motion committing the airline industry to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The airline industry has suffered heavy losses throughout the pandemic, but the IATA estimates that passenger numbers are on track to surpass pre-pandemic levels by 2023.
Heathrow today announced that passenger numbers are down 65.8 per cent over the past year with flights to North America taking the biggest hit and falling by almost 80 per cent.