The UK aviation sector urgently needs a recovery package after research showed that Europe has lost 6,000 routes due to the impact of Covid-19.
A new report by ACI Europe illustrates how badly affected the European air travel sector has been damaged since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
The report shows that Heathrow had lost 68% of its direct connectivity due to Covid up to September – only Madrid-Barajas (-71%) and Rome-Fiumicino (-70%) saw a greater loss of routes among the major European hubs.
Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: “This report brings into sharp focus the brutal impact that Covid-19 has had on aviation and the urgent need for the UK and devolved governments to work with industry on an aviation recovery package.
“Aviation is an economic enabler, and the loss of routes will hold back our national economic recovery before it has begun. It also puts the UK government’s levelling-up and Global Britain agendas at severe risk.
“We need action and support now to kick-start aviation’s long overdue recovery. We cannot have a full economic recovery without a thriving aviation sector so bringing forward measures to support aviation and bring back routes must be a priority for the government.”