Tourism

Expansion of list of countries expected to be open for summer needed


Reopening critical trading routes such as the United States will enable exporters to reconnect with key global networks and unlock billions of pounds worth of trade and exports.

  • Heathrow welcomes government plans to automate border checks
  • Government should publish a list of countries expected to be on the green list for the summer
  • Heathrow lost 6.2 million passengers in April

Heathrow lost 6.2 million passengers in April, down 92.1%, compared to pre-pandemic 2019 figures, following over a year of restrictions on non-essential travel.

Whilst Heathrow welcomes the lifting of the travel ban from May 17, the green list is overly cautious, given the other controls in place on passengers travelling from low risk countries. The next review in 3 weeks’ time should bring a significant expansion to the list of “green” countries, including the United States, to increase trade, reunite friends and families with their loved ones. Government should help people plan ahead by publishing a list of countries expected to be on the green list for the summer holidays so that passengers are not faced with high prices for last minute bookings.

The rapid progress on vaccination and increased confidence in its effectiveness against variants of concern should allow a significant simplification of the “traffic light” system at the end of June, including allowing fully vaccinated people to travel without restrictions.

Heathrow welcomes government plans to automate border checks, but until they have been implemented, Ministers should ensure that every desk is staffed at peak times to avoid unacceptable queue times in immigration.

Fewer passenger flights are severely impacting the UK’s supply chain and British exporters, with only 116,000 metric tons of cargo travelled through Heathrow last month, compared to over 132,000 in April 2019, down 12%. Reopening critical trading routes such as the United States will enable exporters to reconnect with key global networks and unlock billions of pounds worth of trade and exports.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “The Government’s green list is very welcome, but they need to expand it massively in the next few weeks to include other low risk markets such as the United States, and remove the need for fully vaccinated passengers to take two expensive PCR tests. Border Force’s claims that “long queues in immigration are inevitable” smack of complacency – they are completely avoidable if Ministers ensure that all desks are staffed at peak times.”

Traffic Summary
April 2021
Terminal Passengers
(000s)
Apr 2021 % Change Jan to
Apr 2021
% Change May 2020 to
Apr 2021
% Change
Market
UK 62 541.7 228 -75.3 764 -82.2
EU 173 158.8 618 -86.7 4,021 -83.2
Non-EU Europe 54 628.7 180 -83.4 876 -82.4
Africa 54 681.9 245 -69.1 601 -80.7
North America 63 132.6 244 -92.5 862 -94.8
Latin America 6 52.8 27 -91.3 148 -88.0
Middle East 37 0.4 292 -82.3 1,100 -84.2
Asia / Pacific 87 82.6 382 -82.6 1,098 -88.9
Total 536 159.8 2,216 -85.1 9,472 -86.7
Air Transport Movements Apr 2021 % Change Jan to
Apr 2021
% Change May 2020 to
Apr 2021
% Change
Market
UK 773 215.5 2,893 -68.1 8,993 -76.1
EU 2,537 67.2 8,672 -79.9 47,851 -74.2
Non-EU Europe 638 211.2 2,215 -77.3 9,389 -75.8
Africa 551 344.4 2,298 -36.7 6,124 -55.1
North America 2,469 95.5 8,775 -53.2 24,730 -67.4
Latin America 97 169.4 417 -70.9 1,944 -64.1
Middle East 1,086 89.2 4,498 -40.1 13,625 -51.6
Asia / Pacific 1,722 90.5 6,887 -34.7 20,891 -50.4
Total 9,873 103.3 36,655 -64.7 133,547 -68.7
Cargo
(Metric Tons)
Apr 2021 % Change Jan to
Apr 2021
% Change May 2020 to
Apr 2021
% Change
Market
UK 6 313.9 62 -56.4 163 -69.7
EU 10,333 206.8 39,465 77.8 93,367 9.0
Non-EU Europe 5,604 267.6 22,509 121.8 58,420 20.6
Africa 6,535 261.2 29,154 32.7 76,371 -7.9
North America 41,510 106.8 145,292 -2.4 382,994 -25.3
Latin America 1,153 302.6 4,383 -61.9 26,650 -43.5
Middle East 18,702 94.1 71,532 6.2 215,796 -12.0
Asia / Pacific 32,254 126.3 119,643 18.1 336,376 -18.0
Total 116,096 127.9 432,041 12.6 1,190,137 -16.9



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