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Heathrow is removing the cap on passengers which it imposed earlier this year. The cap will be removed from October 30, 2022.

Heathrow caps passenger numbers until September

The cap was extremely unpopular with airlines

Emirates rejects “entirely unreasonable and unacceptable” Heathrow cap

The airport says that as a result of the cap, the “Vast majority of Heathrow passengers had good service this summer.” The airport served 18 million passengers, more than any other European hub

There is a possibility of further restrictions, however, and the airport said that it is “working with airlines to agree a highly targeted mechanism that, if needed, would align supply and demand on a small number of peak days in the lead up to Christmas. This would encourage demand into less busy periods, protecting the heavier peaks, and avoiding flight cancellations due to resource pressures.”

The airport said that it expects total passenger numbers for Heathrow to be around  between 60 – 62 million, approximately 25 per cent fewer than 2019.

To increase passengers numbers the airport estimates that businesses across the airport need to recruit and train up to 25,000 security cleared people.

Heathrow blames disruption on lack of airline baggage handlers

Heathrow has set up “a recruitment taskforce to help fill vacancies, working closely with the Government on a review of airline ground handling and appointing a senior operational executive to invest in joint working.”

Heathrow also justified its request to increase the amount it charges its airline customers for the use of the airport, saying that the increased charges are required for sufficient investment. Airlines argue that this would result in higher prices for customers. In response to this, Heathrow says

“The experience this summer has shown that airlines will charge what the market will bear, regardless of how low the level of airport fees are.”

The airport has also this year “introduced an incentive for airlines to use SAF at Heathrow which was oversubscribed and we propose to increase it next year.”

“We can be proud that everyone at Heathrow pulled together to serve consumers this summer – ensuring 18 million people got away on their journeys, more than any other airport in Europe, with the vast majority experiencing good service. We have lifted the summer cap and are working with airlines and their ground handlers to get back to full capacity at peak times as soon as possible. As we look to the future, we encourage the CAA to think again at stimulating the long-term investment that will deliver the smooth and predictable journeys consumers value most, rather than focusing on short-term pricing which we have seen only benefits airline profits.”