Struggling Gatwick Airport: Scrap Covid tests from green list countries!August 14, 2021
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Bosses are also arguing for double jabbed passengers arriving from amber countries to avoid having to be tested.
And they say those from amber countries who haven’t been vaccinated should get away with just doing a single lateral flow test.
The list of demands comes amid pressure on the Government over the cost of the PCR tests travellers are required to take.
Gatwick wants the changes to apply to both Britons returning, and those from green and amber countries. Chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “In the UK we are all emerging to enjoy more freedoms due to our world-class vaccination programme.
“Our Government needs to act now and remove unnecessary and costly PCR testing requirements for passengers, particularly for those double vaccinated.”
It came as Gatwick — which is operating just one terminal — revealed just 570,000 passengers used the airport in the first half of the year. That was 6.9 million fewer than the same time in 2020, and 21.6 million down on the first half of 2019. Of the 570,000, 234,000 were in June.
Half-year revenues dived 70 percent, with the money from airlines, spending in shops and car parking all crashing. Losses continue to mount, with the £244.6million hit in the first six months of 2021 adding to last year’s £465.5million loss.
With no end in sight, it has cancelled or delayed over £570million of planned investment spending.
Despite having £779million of liquidity, Gatwick is in talks with banks to avoid defaulting on its loans – a year after requesting short-term waivers.
French firm Vinci bought a 50.01 percent stake in Gatwick in 2019 from owner Global Infrastructure Partners. GIP manages 49.99 percent.
Gatwick’s passenger exodus contrasts with Heathrow, which handled 1.5 million passengers in July, more than at any time since COVID-19 hit in March 2020.
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