London’s Heathrow Airport is imposing a cap on daily passenger traffic for the next two months, as the country’s busiest airport tries to deal with air chaos across Europe as demand for air travel continues to rise.
In particular, as reported by Bloomberg, the British airport will limit its passenger traffic to 100,000 people daily until September 11, asking airlines to stop selling tickets in the summer, according to a related announcement.
Forecasts so far show the airport will need to handle up to 104,000 passengers a day in the summer, Heathrow said.
The move comes as ground staffing is not yet “at full capacity,” the airport said, as it continues to try to replenish its workforce with new hires.
Some key functions, such as ground handling for baggage, continue to be “significantly under-resourced”, the statement noted.
Heathrow is facing significant difficulties as the surge in bookings at its busiest time of the year comes in the wake of mass layoffs during the pandemic.
Some airlines have already responded to Heathrow’s request, with British Airways canceling a number of flights over the summer season.
“Our aim is to protect flights for the vast majority of passengers at Heathrow this summer and build confidence that everyone traveling through the airport will have a safe and reliable journey and get to their destination with their luggage.” , said John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s CEO.
“We recognize that this means some summer trips will be moved to another day, to another airport or even cancelled, and we apologize to those affected,” he added.
Last month, Gatwick Airport, London’s second largest, said it would limit airlines to 825 flights a day in July and 850 in August, down from pre-pandemic levels of 950 flights a day, to deal with personnel crisis.
Accordingly, Schiphol in Amsterdam has also taken similar measures, forcing Dutch carrier KLM to curtail ticket sales.