London’s Heathrow Airport says it will limit passengers

London’s Heathrow Airport says it will limit passengers

LONDON – Heathrow Airport said on Tuesday it would limit passenger numbers until mid-September, citing long lines, delays, lost luggage and last-minute flight cancellations due to staff shortages.

In an open letter to passengers, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kay called on the airline to stop selling new tickets because important work at the airport is significantly limited.

“We acknowledge that this means that some summer travel will either be transferred to another airport or canceled, and we apologize to those whose travel plans have been affected,” he said. In recent weeks, there have been times when services have dropped to a level that is “unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Hollande told the airport that the airport could not handle more than 100,000 departures per day, slightly less than the 104,000 that he estimated it was expected to serve on average. He asked airlines to limit the number of tickets they sold to bring back numbers below 100,000 caps.

Asked how Heathrow would enforce the capacity limit, Hannah Smith, a spokeswoman for the airport, said it would be operated by an independent coordinator, Airport Coordination Limited. “Airlines have the discretion on how to apply limits to their individual schedules,” he said.

Virgin Atlantic, one of Britain’s largest carriers, said in a statement that it was ready to deliver its full schedule this summer.

“However, we support the proactive steps taken by Heathrow to reduce disruptions, as long as the proposed measures do not adversely affect home carriers at the airport,” the airline said. “Steps should be taken based on a thorough analysis showing the most effective measures to improve the situation and keep customers running.”

Summer travel in Europe has been hampered by chaos at airports as airlines have a growing number of passengers, eager to travel after the epidemic lockdown, and have struggled to maintain staff shortages. Last week, the pilots of the Scandinavian airline SAS appealed for bankruptcy protection after going on strike. There have been walkouts by airport and airline workers across Europe, despite the long hours and low pay frustrations that have not been accompanied by rising inflation.

Other airports have introduced similar measures. Last month, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport introduced a power cap, citing a shortage of security personnel and higher-than-expected air travel demand, and London’s Gatwick Airport also said last month that it would reduce flights for July and August. British Airways said it would operate on an 11 per cent lower schedule by October.

Mr Hollande told Heathrow that hiring began in November in anticipation of high demand for summer travel, but some key roles were still lacking, including ground handlers, who contracted airlines to load and unload bags, turn and deliver aircraft. . Passenger check-in service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.