Huge impact of COVID-19 on air travel revealed as 28 million passengers lost in July

By Richard Liddle

New figures have revealed the coronavirus lockdown’s devastating impact on the aviation industry, with 93% fewer passengers in July than last year.

The latest analysis by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of 31 major UK airports has revealed that there were 28.2 million fewer passengers in July 2020 than in July 2019, with the airports surveyed facing an average decrease in passengers of 78.7%.

The data from the CAA also showed a 39.4% decrease in total passenger numbers in 2020 in comparison to the same January to July period last year.

The lockdown has taken a heavy toll on a number of UK airlines and their employees – British Airways has seen over 6000 staff apply for voluntary redundancy, 102 Jet2 pilots are also being made redundant, and EasyJet is closing its operations at Newcastle, London Stansted and Southend airports, putting nearly 700 jobs at risk.

The impact of COVID-19 has left many airline employees concerned about both their jobs and their health.

“I think it’d be hard to find anyone working in the industry who isn’t worried,” said Blandine Ravidat, an EasyJet cabin crew member.

“It’s hard to find a middle ground between the safer option of “stay home” and the desire to let people know they should travel or we’ll lose our jobs, especially with how uncertain the future is.

“The upcoming months and years will be very challenging with varying waves of activity, and I don’t imagine we’ll see a true improvement for at least 3 to 4 years, unfortunately.”

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