Heathrow Airport prioritizes cargo flights

Published: Friday, May 29, 2020

LONDON: Heathrow Airport says it’s prioritizing cargo flights with medical supplies to support the UK’s continued fight against the Coronavirus pandemic which had killed nearly 16,000 people as of mid-April.

The airport said its busiest day for cargo only flights was on March 31, 2020 when it handled 38 dedicated cargo flights in a day. Normally, it only manages 6 cargo movements a day or 47 cargo flights a week.

Heathrow Airport said it is well-placed to receive time-critical and temperature-sensitive medical supplies, such as ventilators, medicines and COVID-19 testing kits.

“Heathrow continues to serve the nation by keeping vital supply lines open, and helping people get home. Now is the time to agree a common international standard for healthcare screening in airports so that when this crisis recedes, people can travel with confidence and we can get the British economy moving again,” said Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.

Heathrow lost more than half of passengers it normally handles in a given month amid the global travel ban to prevent the spread of the virus that had since infected more than 2.3 million worldwide. It sees the downfall to continue with passenger demand in April projected to decrease by 90%.

Heathrow moved to single runway operations on April 6th and says it will consolidate operations into Terminals 2 and 5 only in the coming weeks to reduce operating costs and protect long-term jobs.

Glasgow-based airline Loganair flew from the UK’s only hub airport for the first time in its 58-year history. The airline will be operating from Heathrow on an interim basis following the closure of London City Airport to maintain vital connections between the capital and the Isle of Man.

Heathrow is Britain’s only remaining air link to Belfast, with the airport serving as a vital airbridge to Northern Ireland during the pandemic.