Passenger numbers at London Luton Airport (LLA) were down 56% last month compared to August 2019, with 820,000 travelling through the airport compared to 1.7m last year.
While the figures represent an improvement on July, they continue to show the impact that coronavirus is having on the aviation sector. Across the summer as a whole (June, July and August) the total number of passengers were down 75% compared to last year, as the pandemic continues to weigh on the sector.
LLA, along with the rest of the UK’s 20 biggest airports, recently wrote to the Prime Minister to warn that the economy faces “irreparable damage” unless there is action on implementing a testing regime for aviation.
Alberto Martin, CEO of LLA, said: “The summer period is the busiest time of year at LLA, and while I’m pleased to have welcomed more passengers during August, it’s a long way from our normal busy holiday period. We’ve seen an encouraging rise in seat sales in recent months, but we also need to be realistic about what the future holds. With summer drawing to a close, and with quarantine measures continuing to be imposed, urgent Government support for the sector will be vital to ensure that the crisis of the aviation sector does not worsen and the livelihoods of the thousands of people who rely on it are not jeopardised.
LLA is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of travellers and staff members. These measures include the installation of protective screens at customer service points, hand sanitiser stations throughout the airport and an enhanced cleaning and disinfection routine. LLA’s efforts in this area were recently recognised when it was awarded certification from the ACI Airport Health Accreditation programme. LLA is the first airport in the UK to be awarded certification, which means passengers can be sure that the health and safety measures introduced at the airport are industry best practice globally.”