Passengers using Heathrow in July plummeted by 88% on the previous year to 860,000.

The numbers reflected a “slight uplift” in travellers since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, driven by the government’s creation of the first ‘travel corridors’ on July 4.

More than half, over 480,000, flew to European quarantine free destinations to make the most of the 2020 summer season.

But 60% of the London hub’s route network remains grounded, requiring a 14-day quarantine on arrival, “preventing the UK from travelling to and trading with these countries”.

Key routes to North America were down by 96% due to ongoing transatlantic travel restrictions, while Asia Pacific traffic suffered a 94% decline.

Heathrow believes airport testing could safely open up these routes and kick-start the UK’s economic recovery.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Tens of thousands of jobs are being lost because Britain remains cut off from critical markets such as the US, Canada and Singapore.

“The government can save jobs by introducing testing to cut quarantine from higher risk countries, while keeping the public safe from a second wave of Covid.”