London’s Heathrow airport dived into a net loss of £2.0 billion last year, a result that “underlines the devastating impact of Covid-19 on aviation”, it said Wednesday.
The loss after tax, equivalent to $2.8 billion or 2.3 billion euros, reflected a 73-per cent plunge in passenger numbers, Heathrow said in a statement.
The airport, one of the world’s busiest hubs, recorded a net profit of £546 million in 2019.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye, who said passenger levels shrunk in 2020 to levels last seen in the 1970s, voiced optimism for the year ahead with Britain vaccinating millions of adults and preparing to exit its virus lockdown.
“We can be hopeful for 2021, with Britain on the cusp of becoming the first country in the world to safely resume international travel and trade at scale,” he said in the earnings statement.
“Getting aviation moving again will save thousands of jobs and reinvigorate the economy.”
Heathrow last year had 22 million passengers compared with 81 million in 2019.