One Of Europe’s Busiest Airports Tells Airlines to Stop Selling Summer Tickets Amid Travel Turmoil


London’s Heathrow Airport has told airlines to stop selling tickets this summer to keep passenger numbers at manageable levels, chief executive John Holland-Kaye announced on Tuesday, as the entire sector battling delays, delays and cancellations amid travel resurgence and staff shortages.

Basic Facts

Heathrow will set the number of daily departing passengers at 100,000 between July 12 and September 11 to reduce disruption, Holland-Kaye said.

Beyond that number, service is dropping to an unacceptable level for travelers, he added, pointing out recent last-minute cancellations, bags not traveling with passengers and long queue times.

According to its latest figures in 2018, approximately 110,000 passengers leave Heathrow every day, even though these numbers — as well as staffing levels — have fallen since the pandemic began in 2020.

Despite the deep reduction at the airport, the latest forecasts suggest airlines plan to have a total of 104,000 passengers a day fly out of Heathrow, Holland-Kaye said, although only 1,500 of these seats will sold so far.

Holland-Kaye said the airport is asking airlines to stop selling more tickets in the summer to keep the number of passengers as close to the 100,000 cap as possible to “limit the impact on passengers. ”

Holland-Kaye admitted the cap would inevitably mean some flights would be moved to a later date, another airport or completely canceled but said the limit was intended to “protect flights for the majority of passengers.”

Surprising Fact

Before the pandemic, Heathrow regularly topped the leaderboards as one of the busiest airports in the world and the busiest in Europe. It maintained its highest position in Europe in the early days of the pandemic but has since dropped the leaderboard. Paris’s Charles De Gaulle Airport is the busiest today in Europe.

Key Background

The travel and tourism industry, specifically aviation, was one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic as international and domestic travel came to a halt. The crash of international tourism alone could cost the global economy more than $ 4 trillion in 2020 and 2021, according to a United Nations report. As more countries lift restrictions and passenger numbers rise, airports around the world are engulfed in chaos amid flight delays, cancellations, and baggage issues. Although airports in America did not escape, Europe was particularly affected, with more than double the number of cancellations. Airlines and airports, many of which shrugged off employees during the pandemic, increasingly blamed staff levels and their inability to recruit for disruption, even the poor. time and staff shortages due to Covid-19 — mainly on airlines eliminating masking requirements — are also contributing.

Large Numbers

22,000. That’s roughly how many flight delays around the world on Monday, according to tracking data from FlightAware. Europe has been hit by multiple delays, data suggest, with more than half of London Gatwick outbound flights being delayed and other delays from Frankfurt (41%), Heathrow (36%) Split, Croatia (35%) , and Amsterdam Schiphol (31%). European airlines particularly affected by the delays include Air France (53%), easyJet (44%), Lufthansa (42%) and British Airways (37%). There have also been more than 2,100 cancellations worldwide, with many airports in China canceling a double -digit percentage of their flights. Shanghai Hongqiao International, one of the busiest airports in the world, canceled nearly a quarter of its flights.

What to Watch

Demand amid rising costs. Major US airlines are set to report quarterly earnings from Wednesday. According to Reuters, these are set to be the strongest earnings since the pandemic began. Rising fuel costs, rising inflation and a possible recession looming on the horizon could weaken spending for the second half of the year, analysts told Reuters.

Further Reading

More Than 10,000 Flight Delays Today Worldwide – Here Are The Big Problem Areas (Forbes)

Demand, costs focused as US airlines report revenues (Reuters)