London Heathrow Airport sets daily passenger numbers to quell summer travel chaos

London’s Heathrow Airport is limiting daily passenger numbers for the summer and telling airlines to stop selling tickets as it tries to curb excitement in travel caused by rising travel demands and lack of staff.

Britain’s busiest airport said on Tuesday it was setting a limit of 100,000 passengers it could handle per day until September 11. The restriction is likely to result in more flights canceled even as airlines cut that. of thousands of flights from their summer schedules.

UK aviation authorities have asked airlines to ensure they can operate without inconvenience in the summer, with carriers not being penalized for not using their important takeoff and landing slots.

Even with that allowance, Heathrow said, warning a day earlier that it could ask airlines to reduce flights, it said it expects more passengers than airport staff on the ground.

“Some airlines have taken significant action, but others have not, and we believe further action is now needed to ensure passengers have safe and reliable travel,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said in an open letter to passengers.

Flight cancellations bring nightmares to vacation travel


The airlines are expected to operate summer flights with a total daily capacity of 104,000 seats, or 4,000 more than Heathrow can handle, the airport said. Only about 1,500 of these daily seats were sold to passengers.

“So we’re asking our airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers,” Holland-Kaye said.

The excitement of travel extends across Europe

Heathrow’s actions are making it the second major airport in Europe to limit passenger numbers at its hub to enhance operations that have exceeded demand.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has announced a temporary limit on passenger numbers between July 6 and August 28 of this year. According to the latest limit, approximately 67,500 passengers will be allowed per day at the airport in July. The daily cap will be raised to 72,500 in August.

Heathrow said it began a recruiting drive in November and expects security personnel to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of July.

“However, there are some critical functions at the airport that still lack resources, particularly ground handlers, which airlines have contracted to provide check-in, load and unload staff. bags and turnaround aircraft, ”making it a“ significant constraint ”on overall capacity, Holland-Kaye said.

Major delays and cancellations also occurred at airports such as Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt and Lisbon. The situation in Amsterdam is so serious, the Netherlands has issued an unfulfilled order telling airlines to suspend ticket sales until the end of July. That almost immediately raises the price of fares-which are now sky-high. With many trips within Europe, the train is fast becoming an attractive option.

Delays and cancellations is likely to continuewhile airlines find it difficult to hire new workers and quickly train new employees.