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Heathrow: Business travel is lagging since COVD-19

Heathrow: Business travel is lagging since COVD-19

Business travel has been lagging in the UK since the onset of COVID-19, according to Heathrow.

The airport - which serves as the international travel hub on the capital city - used to observe a figure of 32% of passengers all being all travelling for business purposes, but that figure has now reportedly fallen to 28% since the pandemic started in 2020.

Heathrow's Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said in a statement: "Pent-up demand for leisure travel after three years of COVID-19 restrictions is driving passenger numbers. Business demand is probably the only area that is lower than we would have expected.

"What we're seeing there, is a lot of consulting companies, banks, tech companies, who are big travellers, are pulling back on travel as they're making the cost reductions!"

The airport - which is owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, Qatar Investment Authority, and other investors and is predicted to carry up to 53 million passengers across 2023 - is now said to be waiting on the aviation regulator, the CAA, to confirm how much it can charge its airlines in the years to come and intend to appeal to the competition regulator, the CMA if the cost is deemed to be too low when the announcement arrives this coming March.

Asked if Heathrow would return to profit this year, Holland-Kaye, who will step down this year once his successor is appointed, told Reuters it was "unclear at the moment".

No dividends were paid in 2022 and none are planned for 2023, Heathrow said

John added: "For any infrastructure investment, you need to pay dividends to be able to attract investment."

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