It’s not only airlines who are struggling to cope with the surge in demand for air travel. Heathrow is now asking carriers to stop selling tickets as it is unable to provide a safe service to more than 100,000 outgoing passengers a day. The airport has set this as a limit until September 11, despite the current government amnesty on airport slots.
“Even despite the amnesty, daily departing seats over the summer will average 104,000 — giving a daily excess of 4,000 seats. On average only about 1,500 of these 4,000 daily seats have currently been sold to passengers, and so we are asking our airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers,” said Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye.
Willie Walsh, the Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated: “Airlines have been predicting stronger traffic than Heathrow has been predicting … they clearly got it completely wrong,” adding: “To tell airlines to stop selling — what a ridiculous thing for an airport to say to an airline.” Walsh, the former CEO of British Airways owner IAG, also commented that “Heathrow are trying to maximise the profitability that they get from the airport at the expense of airlines.”