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58.8 Million Passengers Lost in 2020


January 11, 2021

2020 traffic figures:


Cargo volumes through London's Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port, fell 28.2% because of the impact of travel restrictions on international trade. Prior to the pandemic, 94% of cargo travelled in the belly hold of passenger planes, which have been severely reduced.


Heathrow worked with airlines and the cargo community to increase dedicated cargo flights, safeguarding the UK’s supply lines throughout the pandemic. Some airlines used passenger aircraft to fly cargo only, helping to transport key essential equipment such as COVID-19 testing kits, PPE and respirators.

Image - Heathrow Airport


Over 19,000 converted freighters travelled through the airport over the course of the year and Heathrow has prioritised health and safety of colleagues and passengers, putting in place a number of measures including UV robots, UV handrail technology, anti-viral wraps, hand sanitiser dispensers, Perspex screens and the mandatory use of face masks.


Heathrow has radically reduced costs, while protecting front line roles, by consolidating operations into Terminals 2 and 5 and switching to single runway operations for most of the year. There has been no government support other than the national furlough scheme.

December traffic figures:

  • 1.1 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in December, down 82.9% compared to the same time last year, as a new strain of COVID-19 took its toll on air travel. Heathrow recorded a loss of 5.6 million passengers as many were forced to cancel Christmas and New Year reunions in line with Government guidance.

  • Over 107,000 metric tonnes of cargo travelled through Heathrow in the month of December.

  • Heathrow expanded its airport testing capacity with ExpressTest launching privately operated facilities at