Heathrow passenger numbers fell nearly 73% last year, annual figures confirm.
The airport recorded 22.1 million passengers in the calendar year, down 72.7% or 58.8 million on the previous year.
December saw 1.1 million passengers through the airport, down 82.9% or 5.6 million.
December also saw two other significant events for Heathrow. The Supreme Court ruled Heathrow’s expansion plans were compliant with climate change obligations and the month was the last of tax-free shopping in Britain, making Britain the only country in Europe not to offer it to international visitors.
The figures were released days after the government confirmed the impending requirement of negative Covid testing for England and Scotland arrivals.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “The past year has been incredibly challenging for aviation. While we support tightening border controls temporarily by introducing pre-departure testing for international arrivals, as well as quarantine, this is not sustainable.
“The aviation industry is the cornerstone of the UK economy but is fighting for survival.
"We need a road map out of this lockdown, and a full waiver of business rates. This is an opportunity for the government to show leadership in creating a Common International Standard for pre-departure testing that will allow travel and trade to restart safely so that we can start to deliver the prime minister’s vision of a Global Britain.”