London’s Heathrow Airport announced it has capped the number of departing passengers each day in an effort to limit the disruptions that have plagued air travel to and from the airport during the busy summer travel season, effective from July 12 to September 11, 2022.
According to Reuters, Heathrow is capping the number of departing passengers at 100,000 a day; a number that the airport said was much more manageable for the airline and airport staff than the much higher numbers of passengers the airport has been seeing.
“Some airlines have taken significant action, but others have not, and we believe that further action is needed now to ensure passengers have a safe and reliable journey,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye wrote in an open letter on July 12. “We have therefore made the difficult decision to introduce a capacity cap with effect from 12 July to 11 September.”
“The latest forecasts indicate that even despite the amnesty, daily departing seats over the summer will average 104,000 – giving a daily excess of 4,000 seats,” Holland-Kaye continued. “On average only about 1,500 of these 4,000 daily seats have currently been sold to passengers, and so we are asking our airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers.”
Just last week, staffing issues and the high number of air travelers led to British Airlines leaving hundreds of bags unattended or unloaded on their owners’ respective flights at Heathrow Airport. The airline alone has already cut about 30,000 summer flights due to understaffing.
It’s recognized that the number of cancellations and delays in Europe over this issue is at least three times greater than the number in the Americas. Heathrow capping the number of passengers the airport is able to accommodate each day might ease some of the delays and cancellations, but some flights are still expected to be canceled in order to satisfy the capacity limit.
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