London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the UK has registered an adjusted pre-tax loss of £442m for the nine months through 30 September 2022 and said that it was ‘unlikely’ to bounce back to pre-pandemic demand levels for many years.

Passenger volume at the airport is estimated to stand at 60 to 62 million in 2022, which is nearly 25% less compared to the 2019 level.

The global economic crisis, the Covid-19 impact and the Ukraine conflict were said to be the reasons for this decline.

Heathrow served 18 million passengers in the last quarter.

The airport earned revenues of £2.1bn in the first nine months of this year, a jump from £695m a year ago.

Cash generated from operations soared to £1.25bn from £326m over this period.

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In a statement, Heathrow said: “Our priority is to build back the airport eco-system to meet demand at peak times. To do so, businesses across the airport need to recruit and train up to 25,000 security-cleared people, a huge logistical challenge.

“We are supporting, including establishing a recruitment task force to help fill vacancies, working closely with the [UK] Government on a review of airline ground handling and appointing a senior operational executive to invest in joint working.”

Meanwhile, from 30 October 2022, LHR will end the existing blanket cap on departure passenger numbers.

The restriction was introduced to deal with travel chaos resulting from a rebound in air travel and staff shortage.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We can be proud that everyone at Heathrow pulled together to serve consumers this summer, ensuring 18 million people got away on their journeys, more than any other airport in Europe, with the vast majority experiencing good service.

“We have lifted the summer cap and are working with airlines and their ground handlers to get back to full capacity at peak times as soon as possible.

“As we look to the future, we encourage the CAA to think again at stimulating the long-term investment that will deliver the smooth and predictable journeys consumer value most, rather than focusing on short-term pricing, which we have seen only benefits airline profits.”