Apr 29, 2021

Heathrow Airport: Home Office must 'get a grip' on border delays

John Holland-Kaye said he was not confident Border Force was ready to cope if travel restrictions are eased on 17 May. Some passengers have faced six-hour delays, but it's a "Completely fixable problem", he told the BBC. The Home Office said paperwork and health checks would mean more delays. Last month, there were reports of passengers at the UK's biggest airport having to wait seven hours to pass through immigration control, and three-hour waits were commonplace. "Border Force is checking that every passenger has complied with current health measures when arriving at the border. Passengers should currently expect queues and wait times to be longer than normal." On Thursday, the airport revealed it had sunk a further £329m into the red in the first three months of the year, bringing total losses since the start of the pandemic to £2.4bn. Just 1.7 million passengers travelled through the airport during the quarter, down 91% on the period in 2019. Despite saying there was strong underlying demand for travel, the airport said it had cut its passenger forecast for the year to between 13 and 36 million.

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