Heathrow flight curbs to continue until end of October  

By Lisa James
Home » Heathrow flight curbs to continue until end of October  

Heathrow Airport has told airlines it will have to continue limiting flight numbers until the end of October.

The Telegraph says it has seen a letter to airlines saying the curbs will have to be extended because of staff shortages and absences and to ensure a continued safe operation.

The letter says the airport will cap the number of aircraft ‘movements’ – outbound and inbound flights – to 1,100 from 11 July to 31 August; 1,150 from 1-30 September and 1,200 from 1-29 October.

It adds Heathrow has already had to deploy ‘contingency’ measures to prevent ‘dangerous’ overcrowding that could risk the safety of passengers.

The letter, from Heathrow Director of Operational Planning Mark Powell, blamed ‘continued higher absence levels and reliance upon overtime across Team Heathrow’ which meant ‘there is volatility in resourcing levels, impacting resilience, safety, passenger experience and performance’.

It added: “During the last few weeks, Heathrow has had to deploy contingencies to avoid safety events and overcrowding in the terminals including access control/call forward required to ensure the safe management of passengers queueing in landside areas.”

The Telegraph says Heathrow has also warned airlines it is prepared to take legal action against those that refuse to reduce capacity as part of their legal duty to maintain ‘safe and resilient’ travel for passengers.

News of the extended capacity cuts follows comments from Heathrow Chair Lord Deighton in which he blamed airlines for ongoing chaos at the airport, saying years of cost cutting meant their baggage handlers were unable to recruit enough staff because of low wages.

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