New figures show that airport arrivals remain 54% below pre-pandemic levels, even though travel restrictions have been eased.   

According to data from the Home Office, only 4.5 million passengers flew in and out of the country during October.

This was 2 1/2 times higher than October’s figure of 1.7 Million, and 54% less than September 2019’s 9.8million arrivals.

In the past, the aviation industry stated that the Oct half-term’s relaxation of travel regulations had triggered pent-up demand. 

However, between April 2020 – October 2021 the number of arrivals was 53% less than it was pre-pandemic.

About 61% (or 61%) of all UK-bound air traffic last month was made by British citizens. 

Passengers pass an International Arrivals sign at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport. Some 61% of air arrivals into the UK last month were British nationals

An International Arrivals sign is displayed at Terminal 5 London Heathrow Airport. British citizens accounted for 61% of all UK air traffic arrivals last month.

Just 4.5 million airline passengers arrived in the country last month, according to Home Office data

According to data from the Home Office, only 4.5 million passengers flew in and out of the country during October.

Falling demand is causing severe damage to the travel industry, resulting in thousands of lost jobs.

The Government should simplify and reduce regulations that apply to arriving passengers, according to aviation bosses.

Even though regulations have been relaxed, travellers who are fully vaccinated will still need to pay for the coronavirus test upon entry to the UK.

It is also complained that the passenger locator forms all arrivals have to submit is too difficult.

Robert Courts (aviation minister) announced this week that England will review its rules regarding international travel in January.

These new numbers come after angry passengers lambasted Heathrow’s huge lines and delay in collecting their bags. Today, chaos reigned at Britain’s busiest airport.

Travellers furious at the lack of workers and teaming lines complained as they tried making it to their planes.

People were so tired of waiting in line for hours that they took off their masks, some said.

Heathrow said that immigration was taking longer than usual, however, he added that the staff were working hard to help passengers.

The announcement comes after weeks of a terrible backlog at the airport, which saw hundreds wait for as long as four hours due to defective e-gates.

Livid travellers at Heathrow vented about the teaming lines and a lack of workers this morning as they tried to make it to their flights

Heathrow travellers furious at the lack of employees and lines today as they tried making it to their flight complained.

Some said people were getting so hot queuing for hours they had removed their masks and risked spraying Covid over other customers

Some people claimed they got so hot waiting in line for hours that they took off their masks, risking spraying Covid onto other customers.

Photographs showed long lines of people crammed into narrow corridors while they waited for their turn at the airport.

Another stream of people, mostly covered in face covers, marched past the flight gates to reach their planes.

The chaos today was reportedly caused by ‘logistical problems’ leading to waits of up to an hour to collect baggage.

A spokesman for Heathrow said it was not an ‘infrastructure issue from our side’ and pointed to the airline handlers. British Airways was contacted to provide comment.

An online comment was made by a man: “@HeathrowAirport, please send more officers at the immigration counters there.”

Heathrow responded: “We are aware that there is a longer wait in immigration. Border Force workers are hard at work to help passengers. We appreciate your patience.

Another user posted: Hey @HeathrowAirport @British_Airways When will you deliver BA172 bags from JFK to your passengers? The flight landed at 0836, and reached 0846.

Airport responded by saying that they were sorry for the lengthy wait. We are trying to get passengers their bags processed by our baggage handlers.

Valentina Pena wrote: @HeathrowAirport What happened to increasing the number of agents working at border after September’s disaster?

“I was standing in line for more than an hour with many passengers starting to remove their masks. You are putting T5 at major Covid risk by not having enough staff.

Heathrow said: “We are aware that there is a longer wait in immigration. Border Force work hard to help passengers.

“We are sorry that some passengers have taken off their masks. We are sorry to hear that passengers or colleagues might not be allowed to use face covers. However, we expect everyone to have them on wherever possible.

However, she retorted: “Unfortunately it seems that people are removing facial coverings out of boredom/frustration at being in line for almost two hours without any progress. What if the wait times cannot be reduced? Is it possible to have your own policies enforced?

According to the airport, “Heathrow staff will enforce rules in place which includes wearing face masks when possible.”