Under a new scaled-back operation the airport will only use one of its two runways, changing over on a weekly basis.
The airport said a runway would be shut down from next Monday to “increase resilience and safety for staff, passengers and cargo”.
“Under this new operation, we will alternate which runway we use on a weekly basis and publish a new alternation schedule that will continue to provide local communities with respite periods,” he said.
Planes stand on Heathrow Airport apron as flights cancelled amid coronavirus outbreak
“Although we are seeing significantly fewer flights at the moment, Heathrow will remain open so that we can continue to play a crucial role in helping to secure vital medical goods and food for the nation during this unprecedented epidemic.”
The decision came after major airlines suspended operations as much of the world was placed in lockdown due to the global Covid-19 crisis.
EasyJet grounded its entire fleet, while British Airways stopped flights in and out of Gatwick and London City airport.
Heathrow served 80.1 million passengers in 2018, according to its website. A total of 475,624 flights took off from the west London site in the same year.
The news of its scaling-back of operations also comes after British Airways said it was putting more than 30,000 staff on furlough.
The airline has introduced its own job retention scheme similar to the Government’s, which will still give staff 80% of their pay plus 80% of their allowances.
A BA spokesman said: “Our colleagues have done a brilliant job keeping vital routes open to reunite customers with their families, and bring back supplies to our hospitals, factories and shops.
“But with the challenges of coronavirus, like many airlines, we have been in touch with colleagues to advise that we are implementing the furlough scheme to minimise the financial impact on them.”
Gatwick Airport has also significantly reduced its operations.
Gatwick recorded 47 million passengers last year.