Airports and airlines are expecting their busiest weekend of the year so far as schools close and the summer holidays begin for millions.
Heathrow Airport said it was expecting to welcome about 128,000 passengers on Saturday and Sunday – down from daily volumes of around 230,000 to 260,000 in July 2019.
CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “This weekend is set to be one of the busiest of the year so far. We’re thrilled to see the terminals coming to life again, with most of the shops and restaurants now reopened.
“We have additional colleagues on hand to ensure our passengers have a smooth journey as they take well-deserved breaks or travel abroad for long-awaited reunions with loved ones.”
Gatwick Airport said it expects to see around 250 to 260 flights and between 25,000 to 27,000 passengers a day over the weekend – up from a low of just 15 flights a day at the height of the pandemic.
The most popular foreign destination is Spain, with between 60 and 70 flights a day, while around 30 planes will depart each day for Greece, it added.
The airport said flight numbers are still far below the 950 per day at this time of year pre-Covid.