Covid-19 has continued to wreak a devastating impact on air travel, with year on year passenger numbers down 99.2 per cent at Stansted Airport.

But latest data has shown some revival and pick up.

London Stansted Airport grew 2.1 per cent year-on-year to welcome 2.6 million passengers in May last year, its busiest ever.

But that collapsed in May 2020 to just 20,607.

Just 13,708 passengers flew into Stansted last month, a 99.4 per cent fall from its busiest period on record in April 2019, when nearly 2.4 million passengers used it.

The travel sector has been among the hardest hit by coronavirus, with travel largely put hold since March.

And airlines and airports are warning of significant harm if they are not soon allowed to fly to “low risk countries”.

However latest flight data shows some revival – on June 19 just 18 flights took off from Stansted.

Two days later there were 60 flights.

And on June 22 there were 57 flights to destinations across Europe including Murcia, Ibiza, Corfu, Alicante and Malaga.

Ryanair was due to resume flights on July 1, but reopened some of its routes on June 21 – the same day Spain lifted its border restrictions to welcome back tourists.

To improve the security experience and help restore confidence in travel as the airport begins to see more people wanting to travel, passengers at Stansted may soon have the opportunity to pre-book a free 15-minute security slot.

The trial is being tested first at Manchester Airport as part of a series of measures introduced by Stansted owner MAG to ensure passengers feel safer and more confident about travelling by air, particularly when travel demand starts to grow again in the near future.

Last month, the airport group became the first to ask all passengers to cover their face either with face masks or with their own clothing. All MAG colleagues interacting with passengers, are also required to wear the necessary protective equipment.

If successful, the technology will be put in place at the group’s other airports at London Stansted and East Midlands.

Brad Miller, MAG chief operating officer, said: “Safety and security will always be the first priority and, at the same time, Covid-19 will undoubtedly reshape the airport experience. We are exploring every innovation and technology that can help us to adapt to the new world, protect public health and restore confidence in air travel.

“This new measure will allow us to manage our security process more efficiently in these challenging times, providing a better and more comfortable experience for passengers.

”It is the latest in a series of measures introduced by MAG to make travel safer during the pandemic, which includes asking passengers and colleagues to wear face coverings and piloting temperature screening technologies.”