18Image Source: CNN
Heathrow Airport’s demand that airlines stop selling summer tickets have been rebuffed by Emirates referring to the request as “unreasonable.” After limiting passenger numbers to 100,000 per day throughout the summer, the airline charged the airport with showing “blatant contempt” for travelers. Heathrow claimed that a cap on leaving travelers was the only option available.
According to Emirates, it was given 36 hours to reduce the number of departing passengers and subsequently flights, and legal action was threatened if it did not.
In a statement, Emirates harshly criticized Heathrow management, alleging that the airport chose “not to act, not to plan, not to invest” and that its new passenger cap appeared to have been “plucked from thin air.” It stated that it intended to run flights to and from the airport according to schedule.
From now until September 11th, Heathrow Airport will have a cap on the number of passengers. Before the epidemic, the airport saw up to 125,000 departures daily.
The BBC has obtained a letter from the Civil Aviation Authority, which oversees airports, to Heathrow requesting that airport managers explain why they have implemented a passenger cap and what it implies for each terminal by Friday at noon.
Many of the disruptions in recent weeks involved last-minute flight cancellations, which had an impact on thousands of UK travelers. As schools end their semesters, the UK is about to enter the crucial summer vacation period. There are worries that this will cause more travel disruptions and delays for passengers.
Emirates is undoubtedly incensed. Although there haven’t always been good ties between airlines and Heathrow, as evidenced by disputes over fees, this is on a whole other level.
It doesn’t mince words when it accuses the airport operator of being incompetent, showing flagrant disrespect for customers, and causing a mess that airlines and travelers must clean up.
Emirates is in a precarious situation. It relies on flying many people on giant airplanes from London to Dubai, where most of them continue on to other long-distance locations. However, since every canceled flight matters, Emirates believes it shouldn’t be necessary to do so.
Not only is this airline claiming this, but others also do. In the background, others have also spoken out strongly. For example, Emirates asserts that Heathrow has threatened legal action if it doesn’t agree with the request to reduce flights but maintains that it has no intention of doing so.
Since the coronavirus pandemic has subsided, demand for foreign travel has increased, but airports and airlines have had a difficult time filling open positions. Emirates, however, asserted that the core of the problem lies with the central services and systems that are the responsibility of the airport operator, saying that its ground handling and catering workers are “completely ready and capable” of handling its planned flights.
The airline said it had rehired and trained 1,000 pilots over the previous year as international travel had begun to rebound. However, the airline added that it has observed “usually high seat loads” and that “the airport cannot be surprised by our operational requirements.”
In the coming weeks, it said rebooking passengers would be “impossible” with all of its flights operating at full capacity. This included services provided by other London airports and by other airlines.