The boss of Heathrow Airport has called on global governments to agree on a common standard on medical screening at airports as passenger numbers slumped by over 50%.
Chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed a single system for assessing passengers’ health will help demand for air travel recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
He added that this would be an important boost to Britain’s economy.
Mr Holland-Kaye said: “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.”
He made the comments as Heathrow announced that passenger numbers for March fell by 52 per cent compared with the same month in 2019.
Many of the 3.1m journeys were repatriations, as people flew to and from Heathrow to reach their homes.
The collapse in demand saw the airport move to single runway operations on 6 April, and two terminals will be closed in the coming weeks.
Heathrow warned it expects passenger numbers for the whole of April to be down by more than 90 per cent year-on-year, with “lasting and significant industry-wide effects predicted”.
These measures will “protect long-term jobs” by reducing operating costs and help Heathrow “remain financially resilient”, the airport added.