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LONDON  — Heathrow operator said it would keep Terminal 4 closed until the end of next year as the pandemic continues to affect travel.
The company said passenger numbers at the airport fell 88% in November "as travel restrictions and a second lockdown took their toll".

Based on forecasts and current traffic, it said it would extend the closure of Terminal 4 until the end of 2021. Heathrow shut the terminal in May during the first national lockdown. It led to airlines such as Air France, Etihad, and KLM moving to Terminal 2.

Separately, Rolls-Royce, the engineering group that makes engines for commercial planes, said it expected air travel to "recover slowly" in the first half of next year before an improvement in the second six months as more people receive Covid vaccinations. At the moment, however, the airline industry is continuing to suffer following a second lockdown in England, firebreaks in areas such as Wales, and the ongoing tier system aimed at stopping the spread of Covid.

Rolls-Royce said that in the 11 months to November, the number of flying hours recorded on its large jet engines was 42% of last year's total. It said that although there had been a gradual improvement since a low point during the first weeks of lockdown, "the pace of recovery has slowed due to the second wave of infections in some geographies".

Consequently, in October and November, the number of recorded flying hours on Rolls-Royce commercial jet engines was 33% compared to 2019.

On Thursday, the UK government added popular tourist destination the Canary Islands to the quarantine list. From early Saturday morning, people returning to the UK from the islands will have to self-isolate.
Via (BBC)
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