Gatwick Airport has warned that aviation recovery in Europe is lagging behind that of other European countries. 

Britain’s second largest airport said travel bookings in France and Germany are on average at over 50% of pre-pandemic levels whereas in the UK it is sitting at approximately 16%.

Restrictions meant only 569,000 passengers traveled through the airport in the first half of the year.

“UK travel recovery should not be allowed to lag behind the US and Europe,” Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate. “Passengers need the travel rules simplified so they can choose to travel more freely and enjoy much needed breaks and reunions with family and friends which are currently much more attainable for those in Europe and the US.” 

Gatwick made the call as it reported results for the first half of 2021, showing a £244.6m loss for the period. 

It also disclosed it was in talks with banks and lenders over a forecast breach of its financial covenants. 

Gatwick airport said it had $779 million of liquidity, including £624 million of cash. It described this as being sufficient to meet operating cash flow, planned investment levels and interest payments for at least the next 12 months.  

It has deferred or canceled over £570 million of investment originally planned for 2020, 2021 or 2022. 

The airport also named Jim Butler as its new chief financial officer.