The number of passenger using Luton airport more than halved last month compared to August 2019.

Throughput fell by 56% with 820,000 travelling through the airport compared to 1.7 million in the same peak summer month last year.

While the figures represent an improvement on July, they continue to show the impact that coronavirus is having on the aviation sector.

The total number of passengers across the peak months of June, July and August were down 75% compared to last year, as the pandemic continues to weigh on the sector.

Luton was among the UK’s 20 biggest airports warning prime minister Boris Johnson that the economy faces “irreparable damage” unless there is action on implementing a testing regime for aviation.

 Airport chief executive Alberto Martin said: “The summer period is the busiest time of year at LLA [London Luton Airport], and while I’m pleased to have welcomed more passengers during August, it’s a long way from our normal busy holiday period.

“We’ve seen an encouraging rise in seat sales in recent months, but we also need to be realistic about what the future holds.

“With summer drawing to a close, and with quarantine measures continuing to be imposed, urgent government support for the sector will be vital to ensure that the crisis of the aviation sector does not worsen and the livelihoods of the thousands of people who rely on it are not jeopardised.”

Luton as been awarded certification from the ACI Airport Health Accreditation programme, reflecting the introduction of safety measures such as  protective screens at customer service points, hand sanitiser stations and an enhanced cleaning and disinfection routine.

“Luton is the first airport in the UK to be awarded certification, which means passengers can be sure that the health and safety measures introduced at the airport are industry best practice globally,” Martin added.