Britain’s busiest airport handled just one-10th of pre-pandemic passengers in the first half of 2021.
Heathrow’s latest figures showed only 3.8 million travellers passing through what used to be Europe’s busiest airport between January and June 2021, compared with 39 million during the same spell in 2019.
Numbers are expected to increase from next week, with British travellers who have been fully vaccinated by the NHS allowed to return from “amber list” countries without quarantine.
But no such concession applies to passengers who have received their jabs abroad.
The chief executive of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye said: “While it’s fantastic news that some double-vaccinated passengers will no longer need to quarantine from amber countries, ministers need to extend this policy to US and EU nationals if they want to kickstart the economic recovery.
“These changes will be critical for exporters who are losing out to EU rivals and families who have been separated from loved ones.”
Heathrow was previously Europe’s premier link to the US, but transatlantic passenger numbers have fallen by 80 per cent because of Joe Biden’s presidential proclamation against British visitors and the requirement for US arrivals to the UK to self-isolate.
The airport calculates the continued closure of most transatlantic links is costing the UK economy at least £23m per day.
Heathrow’s cargo tonnage is down by one-sixth, compared with increases of 14 per cent and nine per cent respectively at Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
At present Heathrow is operating with only two of its four terminals open, but from this week Terminal 3 will resume operations.
Separately, Manchester airport has announced an extension to its existing Terminal 2 will open for passenger use on Wednesday 14 July. Jet2, Tui and Singapore Airlines will be the first users.