The most passengers travelled through Heathrow in a single month since the beginning of the pandemic in July, the UK’s largest airport said today.
In total, 1.5m passengers used the airport in July, up 74 per cent on last year.
It said that the easing of travel restrictions was beginning to improve consumer confidence after months of uncertainty.
With US passengers who have been double vaccinated now able to travel to the UK without isolating on arrival, North American passenger numbers grew 230 per cent last month.
There were 232,000 passengers who used transatlantic routes in July, with the Heathrow to New York JFK route reclaiming top spot as the airport’s most popular.
However, the airport said that overall passenger numbers were still down over 80 per cent compared to July 2019.
Chief operating officer Emma Gilthorpe said that the government’s efforts to reboot the travel industry were “far from complete”.
She called on ministers to follow through on plans to slash the cost of PCR tests, a major turn off for many looking to travel.
“Finally, some blue skies are on the horizon, as travel and trade routes slowly reopen. The job though is far from complete. Government must now capitalise on the vaccine dividend and seize the opportunity to replace expensive PCR tests with more affordable lateral flow tests”, she said.
“This will ensure travel remains attainable for hardworking Brits, desperate for well-earned getaways and keen to reunite with loved ones before the summer travel window closes.”
The uptick in passenger numbers came as Virgin Atlantic launched a number of new routes to the Caribbean in a bid to entice sunseeking Brits.
It will run new services to Barbados from Edinburgh, Manchester to Jamaica, and a winter route from Heathrow to St Lucia.