London Luton Airport has recorded a 74% slump in passenger numbers and said government assistance will be needed to give the industry a much-needed boost.
The airport said July traffic was 74% lower than a year earlier. That represents a significant increase on the previous month, but still points to how tough the travel sector continues to be due to Covid-19.
Last year it carried 17.9 million passengers, up 8.6% on 2018.
But in 2020 airlines and airports have seen demand plunge because of lockdowns, travel restrictions, quarantine concerns and worries about Covid.
Alberto Martin, chief executive of Luton airport, said: “Seeing an increasing number of passengers passing through the airport safely is a rich reward for all the hard work and effort our teams have put in on the ground during this incredibly difficult period. While we’re delighted to see more passengers passing through the airport, we are still a long way from normal.”
Martin added: “Over the next couple of months Government assistance is going to be key. From providing passengers the reassurance they need to be able to take a long-awaited holiday to helping the sector and those who work in it play an essential role supporting the UK’s economic recovery.”
The airport, which is operated and developed by a consortium including AENA, the world’s largest airport operator, and global investment manager AMP Capital, said more shops have started to reopen on site.