Heathrow taps bond markets, eyes further cost cuts to weather COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: An aircraft comes in to land at Heathrow Airport in west London April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Heathrow Airport said it raised 1.4 billion pounds ($1.82 billion) from the bond markets to strenghten its financial position as the pandemic continues to suppress travel demand, and warned it could need to cut costs further.

Heathrow, which before the coronavirus crisis was the busiest airport in Europe, said over the last week it accessed the euro, sterling and Canadian dollar bond markets to raise a total equivalent of 1.4 billion pounds via three transactions.

Passenger numbers in September slumped 82% in September compared to the same month last year, reported the west London airport earlier on Monday, and it said it would be years before business recovered meaning further cuts could be needed on top of the 300 million pounds already operating costs already axed.

“Given the ongoing nature of the crisis, Heathrow is prepared to take further action to cut costs in order to protect the long-term health of the airport,” the airport said.

Heathrow is owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corp and others.

Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Estelle Shirbon