Heathrow tells airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposes passenger cap until September | business news

Heathrow Airport has urged airlines to halt summer ticket sales as it capped passenger numbers – a move expected to lead to more flight cancellations.

The new limit of 100,000 passengers per day – equivalent to a cut of 4,000 passengers per day – will apply from Tuesday to September 11, the airport said.

Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said in recent weeks passenger numbers have regularly exceeded 100,000, leading to “periods when service has dropped to unacceptable levels”.

He said airlines, ground handlers and the airport are not able to handle such a high volume.

Passengers faced long queues, delays and delays at the last minute cancellations, delayed baggage and baggage that doesn’t make it on flights.

Without the cap, Heathrow predicted there would be an average of 104,000 daily departing seats over the summer – making for a daily surplus of 4,000.

“On average, only about 1,500 of those 4,000 seats per day are currently being sold to passengers, and as such we are asking our airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers,” Holland-Kaye said.

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“By undertaking this intervention now, our goal is to protect flights for the vast majority of passengers at Heathrow this summer and to instill confidence that everyone traveling through the airport has a safe and reliable journey and with.” his luggage arrives at his destination.

“We are aware that this will mean that some summer trips will either be rescheduled to another day, airport or cancelled, and we apologize to those whose travel plans have been affected.”

Affected travelers are not entitled to compensation as the reason for the cancellations is deemed to be beyond the airlines’ control.

Heathrow capacity ‘limited by staffing issues’

Mr Holland-Kaye said delays at other airports were having a knock-on effect, with passengers arriving late, putting pressure on staff.

“Our colleagues are doing everything they can to evacuate as many passengers as possible, but we cannot put them at risk for their own safety and well-being,” he said.

He said some “critical functions” were “significantly underserved,” particularly ground handlers, who are hired by airlines to provide check-in staff, load and unload baggage and turn planes around.

“This is a significant limitation of the airport’s overall capacity,” he said.

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Security personnel are expected to ramp up to pre-pandemic levels by the end of July – but it will take time for new recruits to perform to their full potential, he said.

The government recently ordered airlines to ensure they can stick to their flight schedules and gave them amnesty until last Friday to cancel flights without penalty.

While many airlines were canceling flights, Holland-Kaye said more action was needed.

Heathrow insisted the capacity cap “is in line with limits put in place at other airports”.

Heathrow tells airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposes passenger cap until September | business news

Source link Heathrow tells airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposes passenger cap until September | business news

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