Heathrow Sets Daily Passenger Limit to 100,000

Heathrow Airport will limit passengers to 100,000 a day until September 11 amid struggles with high demand and a lack of resources.

John Holland-Kaye, the CEO of Heathrow, announced the decision in an open letter to passengers on the capacity cap.

“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. We have therefore made the difficult decision to introduce a capacity cap with effect from 12 July to 11 September. Similar measures to control passenger demand have been implemented at other airports both in the UK and around the world,” Holland-Kaye said.

Heathrow is struggling to cope with resurgent demand after the COVID-19 pandemic and said departing passenger numbers have regularly exceeded 100,000 a day over the past few weeks, 4,000 above its capacity.

“We have started to see periods when service drops to a level that is not acceptable: long queue times, delays for passengers requiring assistance, bags not traveling with passengers or arriving late, low punctuality, and last-minute cancellations,” Holland-Kaye said.

Holland-Kaye said Heathrow’s latest forecast showed an excess number of seats had already been sold, and airlines needed to stop selling tickets now.

“By making this intervention now, our objective is to protect flights for the vast majority of passengers at Heathrow this summer and to give confidence that everyone who does travel through the airport will have a safe and reliable journey and arrive at their destination with their bags. We recognize that this will mean some summer journeys will either be moved to another day, another airport, or be canceled, and we apologize to those whose travel plans are affected,” Holland-Kaye said.

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