Airport World

UK airports have lost £10 billion in revenue since the first lockdown in March 2020 and have taken on more than £4 billion in debt, according to new analysis by the Airport Operators Association (AOA).

Its new report, Reconnecting the UK: recovering aviation connectivity, shows that 2021 was worse than 2020, with airports seeing the lowest passenger numbers since 1983.

It outlines the challenge ahead for the UK in recovering its pre-pandemic aviation connectivity, as further figures reveal:

  • Passenger numbers in 2021 were down 12.7% on 2020 to 64.3m (1983: 61.1m), while European airports saw higher passenger numbers in 2021 than 2020;
  • Airports in Germany, Italy, Ireland and the US got up to nearly eight times as much financial support as UK airports did;
  • Tourism organisations across Europe are investing heavily in recovering pre-pandemic tourism numbers, while Visit Britain’s 2022-23 budget is as yet unconfirmed.

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