Airport update

Heathrow to remain loss-making during 2022

Heathrow has seen a surge in travellers

Heathrow will remain loss making in 2022 as COVID losses top £4 billion, said the company behind Britain’s biggest airport.

Despite increased outbound demand, Heathrow is not forecasting a return to profit and dividends this year.

Q1 revenue climbed to £516m and adjusted EBITDA turned positive to reach £273 million. Heathrow liquidity remains strong with gearing decreasing to pre-pandemic levels.

Heathrow said its 2022 passenger forecast is up from 45.5 million to 52.8 million, which would represent a return to 65% of pre-pandemic levels.

Some 9.7 million passengers travelled through the airport in the first three months of the year, which was in line with forecasts.

January and February were “much weaker than expected” due to restrictions brought in to tackle the Omicron strain of Covid-19, according to Heathrow.

But passenger numbers increased in March after the “unexpectedly quick removal” of all UK travel restrictions on 18 March.

Passengers travelling through several UK airports have been forced to wait in long queues, which have been blamed on staff shortages.

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Heathrow said more than 95% of passengers got through security within five minutes during the Easter getaway.

It added that it is “planning to continue delivering a good service over a busy summer” by reopening Terminal 4 by July and recruiting more than 1,000 new security officers.

The airport is also “assisting” airlines, ground handlers and retailers fill more than 12,000 vacancies across the airport.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “I want to thank colleagues who worked very hard to ensure the start of 2022 has gone to plan, and I want to reassure passengers that we’re redoubling our efforts to ensure this summer’s journeys go safely and smoothly.”

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