London Luton Airport (LLA) welcomed 1.2 million passengers throughout July and August this year, as people travelled to visit family and friends, whilst holidaymakers took advantage of relaxed travel restrictions during the summer holidays.
The most popular destinations for passengers travelling through the airport were Palma de Mallorca, Bucharest and Belfast, reflecting the traffic light system.
Despite the success of the vaccination program, the uncertainty created by changing travel restrictions resulted in a four per cent drop in passenger numbers compared to last summer.
Numbers were down 66 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, when the airport served 3.6 million in 2019.
While restrictions remain in place, and to secure the recovery of the sector, LLA is calling for further industry support from government.
This includes simplifying the approach to travel through easier and cheaper testing.
Additional financial support through the quieter winter period will also be essential, such as an extension to the job support scheme for travel businesses.
Commenting on the figures, chief executive of LLA, Alberto Martin, said: “We recognise the effort government is making to try to help the sector navigate this difficult period, but these figures make clear the need to urgently overhaul the current travel system in order to restore passenger confidence and enable the sector to trade its way through the winter season and out of the crisis.
“Further specific financial support is also needed while the outlook remains so uncertain.”