Frankfurt has overtaken London’s Heathrow as the busiest airport in Europe, prompting the chief of British Airways to demand the Government rapidly sets up a testing programme to win back customers.
“Covid-19 has devastated our business and our sector and we are still fighting for our own survival,” airline’s chief executive Alex Cruz told MPs.
Heathrow airport said that its passenger numbers were down by more than 80 per cent in August to 1.4 million, allowing its key German continental rival to overtake, according to the British airport. It said it was an “early warning that Britain’s economy will fall behind if we don’t protect our global trading network”.
Long haul markets remained sharply down because of the UK government’s 14-day quarantine policy from travel for destinations including Portugal and the United States. The move has hit British Airways hard. It flies to more than 100 countries, many of them affected by travel restrictions.
The airline’s chief executive Alex Cruz told MPs on Wednesday that it was at 20 per cent of capacity during July and said the crisis outstripped the worst days of the 2007/08 financial crash and the plunge in passenger numbers after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.