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Coronavirus

London Heathrow Airport’s COVID-19 losses balloon to $3.4 bln

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Heathrow, Britain’s biggest airport, said on Thursday a first quarter loss of $459 million has taken total losses during the COVID-19 pandemic to nearly $3.4 billion as travel continues to be hammered.

It said only 1.7 million passengers travelled through the London airport in the three months to March 31, down 91 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019.

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Heathrow, which during the pandemic lost its crown as Europe’s busiest hub to Paris, said continuing uncertainty over British government policy meant it had reduced its passenger forecast for the year to a range between 13 and 36 million, compared to 81 million in 2019.

Britain’s aviation industry is hoping that flying will rebound in late May once COVID-19 restrictions are eased, but uncertainty remains about where people will be able to go, and how digital vaccine passports will work.

British transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he will chair a meeting of G7 transport ministers next week to discuss vaccine passports before announcing which countries would be open to Britons for travel in early May.

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Heathrow is owned by investors including Spain’s Ferrovial the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp.

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