There was an overall 75 per cent drop in passengers using UK airports in 2020, compared to 2019, a new report has revealed.
Research by travel website MyBaggage.com revealed that airlines were also estimated to have lost a “staggering” £20bn last year.
Researchers for looked at Britain’s 15 busiest airports in 2019 and compared CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) data for 2019 and 2020 to measure the impact of the pandemic.
The biggest fall was seen at London City Airport where passenger numbers plunged 82.3 per cent from 5,122,000 in 2019 to just 908,105 during 2020.
Leeds Bradford Airport saw the second largest reduction in passenger numbers, losing 81.2 per cent of travellers with a drop of 3,992,000 in 2019 to only 751,048 in 2020.
East Midlands Airport experienced the third largest drop in passengers in percentage terms, a loss of 80.7 per cent with 4,674,000 people using the airport in 2019 compared to only 900,832 last year.
The UK’s largest airport, London Heathrow, recently reported a £2bn loss in revenue and the new study shows passenger numbers there were down by 72.7 per cent going from 80,887,000 to 22,109,550 across the two years.
Gatwick had an even greater passenger reduction in percentage terms with numbers falling 46,575,000 to 10,171,867, a reduction of 78.2 per cent.
In Scotland, Glasgow airport was hit hardest with passenger numbers falling from 8,843,000 in 2019 to only 1,944,981 in 2020 a fall of 78 per cent.
In Northern Ireland, Belfast International saw passenger numbers fall by 72.2 per cent going from 6,278,000 in 2019 to only 1,746,951 during 2020.
A spokesman for MyBaggage.com said the research revealed the impact of the pandemic not only on the aviation industry as a whole but also on a regional level around the UK.
He said: “The past 12 months has been nothing short of devastating for the UK aviation industry with a fall in passengers using our airports of around three quarters.
“But not all airports have seen the same impact, some have definitely been harder hit than others with the number of people travelling down by more than 80 per cent in some locations.
“While these numbers are stark they still don’t show the whole picture. Each of these airports is a regional hub employing thousands of workers. With passenger numbers down to this extent, there will have been a dramatic knock-on effect across many industries.
“The tourism industry has of course been massively impacted but the full economic effect can only be guessed at.
“With the vaccine programme now well underway everyone in the travel industry is hoping for a more positive second half to 2021 and for the aviation industry to recover over the coming months and years.”
To read the full report, click here