Heathrow’s Terminal 4 will not operate again until the end of next year as the airport takes measures to cope with the collapse in passenger numbers.
The UK’s hub airport made the decision as it announced an 88% drop in passengers during November as England went into a second Covid-19 lockdown and travel was affected by a series of other restrictions.
Heathrow said the decision to mothball Terminal 4 throughout 2021 was based on “current forecasts and continued decline in passengers”. The terminal was originally closed to passengers in May during the first nationwide lockdown.
The airport also continued its call for “targeted, sector-specific” support from the government to support jobs, including full business rates relief for all UK airports and for the ditching of the so-called “tourist tax” which will end tax-free shopping for international visitors.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “2021 should be the year of Britain’s economic recovery. But recent announcements, such as the tourist tax, could be the final nail in the coffin for struggling businesses such restaurants, hotels and theatres that rely on inbound tourists, as well as for retailers.
“To make Global Britain a reality, the government should be helping the aviation sector to survive, to develop routes to our key trading partners, and attract businesses and tourists to come to Britain to spend their money.”