Aug 16, 2022 - World

Heathrow extends passenger limit into fall amid ongoing travel chaos

Heathrow airport crowds
An interior view of Heathrow Airport on July 24. Photo: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

London's Heathrow Airport announced on Monday that it will extend its cap on the number of daily departing passengers into the fall.

Why it matters: Heathrow introduced the daily cap in July as it, like many airports, struggled to meet the surge in demand for air travel while dealing with staffing shortages.

  • Airline staffing shortages — which have led to flight delays, cancellations and passenger limits at a number of prominent international airports — are expected to last into 2023.

The big picture: Heathrow will keep the cap at the same limit of 100,000 daily departing passengers through Oct. 29, the airport said in a press release.

  • "The cap has resulted in fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter waits for bags," it noted.
  • The passenger cap could be lifted earlier if the airport decides it has the increased resources to deal with higher capacity.

What they're saying: “Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel. That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway," Ross Baker, Heathrow chief commercial officer, said in the press release.

  • “We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve," he added.
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