Paris has overtaken Heathrow as Europe’s busiest airport following a sharp drop in passenger numbers at the London travel hub.
Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye called on the government to introduce pre-departure coronavirus tests and to create an airbridge with the US as the number of travellers using the airport continued to fall.
He warned that Frankfurt and Amsterdam airports were “gaining ground” after Paris Charles de Gaulle overtook Heathrow as the continent’s major airport for the first time ever.
Heathrow passenger numbers in the nine months ended 30 September were down 68.9 per cent to 19m, compared to 61m in the previous year.
Revenue fell 58.7 per cent to £951m and losses widened from £76m to £1.5bn.
Holland-Kaye said: “Britain is falling behind because we’ve been too slow to embrace passenger testing.
“European leaders acted quicker and now their economies are reaping the benefits. Paris has overtaken Heathrow as Europe’s largest airport for the first time ever, and Frankfurt and Amsterdam are quickly gaining ground.
“Let’s make Britain a winner again. Bringing in pre-departure Covid tests and partnering with our US allies to open a pilot airbridge to America will kickstart our economic recovery and put the UK back ahead of our European rivals.”