Mideast carrier Emirates on Thursday refused a demand by London’s Heathrow Airport for airlines to cut the number of travelers on summer flights in a bid to ease journey disruptions, calling it a completely unreasonable and unacceptable move that shows blatant disregard for customers.
Heathrow Airport announced
In a piece of blistering information, the airline accused Heathrow’s management of incompetence for not being ready to deal with the super peak time for travel. The airport states it’s been seeking support from airlines on solutions for months.
Emirates, one of the world’s biggest airlines, fired back a day after Heathrow declared it was capping daily passenger numbers at 100,000 and informing airlines to stop selling tickets as it seeks to quell travel chaos caused by soaring travel demand and employee lacks.
U.K. Aviation authorities
Airlines have already slashed thousands of flights from their summer schedules after U.K. Aviation authorities, in a request to prevent last-minute revocations, told carriers wouldn’t be punished for not operating valuable takeoff and landing slots.
Heathrow, Britain’s most active airport, stated the cuts weren’t enough, but Emirates drew a line, revealing tensions between the airport and the airlines that are its customers.
The issues have emerged in almost Europe. Booming demand for summer travel after 2 years of COVID-19 travel restrictions has swamped airlines and airports, which are shorthanded after many pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, and luggage handlers were laid off. That’s left visitors facing last-minute cancellations, lengthy delays, lost baggage, or long waits for handbags.
Emirates, which operates six daily return flights between Heathrow and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stated it’s positively regrettable that the airport on Wednesday night provided it 36 hours to comply with capacity cuts of a figure that appears to be plucked from thin air.”
Their communications not only dictated the specific flights on which we should throw out paying passengers but also threatened legal action for non-compliance, the airline stated.
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Other airlines also grumbled. British Airways, which has the biggest presence at Heathrow and has already cut 11% of its scheduled flights through October, revealed the restrictions were incredibly disappointing and that it would revoke a small number of more flights.
Heathrow blames a lack of ground employees, which are contracted by airlines to check in passengers, load and unload bags, and schedule aircraft for their next trip.
Emirates, however, said its ground-handling and catering services are owned by its parent company and are completely ready and capable of managing our flights.” Blame instead lies with the airport’s central services and systems,” it stated.
Emirates Airline said
The airline accused Heathrow leadership of being cavalier” about visitors and airlines, with signs of a strong travel rebound apparent for months. Emirates stated it got ready, including rehiring and training 1,000 pilots in the past year but that Heathrow failed to act, schedule, or invest.
Now faced with an armageddon situation due to their incompetence and non-action, they are making the whole burden of prices and the scramble to sort the mess to airlines and passengers, the report said.
In response, Heathrow stated it has been requesting airlines for months to support draw up a strategy to solve their staffing challenges, but no clear plans were forthcoming, and with each passing day, the problem got worse.”
We had no option but to take the hard decision to impose a capacity cap designed to present passengers a better, more reliable travel and to keep everyone operating at the airport safely,” Heathrow told.
It would be disappointing if instead of operating together, any airline would want to put profit ahead of a safe and reliable passenger journey.
London airports and other airlines
Rebooking so many potentially affected passengers is impossible because all flights for the next few weeks are complete, including at other London airports and on other airlines, Emirates told. Moving some operations to other U.K. Airports at short notice is also unrealistic, it stated.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s Lufthansa stated this week that it’s cutting 2,000 more flights in Frankfurt and Munich, especially at peak times in the afternoon and evening over the next week, on top of 770 flights it axed from July 8 to 14.
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