London Heathrow extends capacity cap through late October

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Heathrow Airport said it consulted with airlines prior extending the capacity limit.
Heathrow Airport said it consulted with airlines prior extending the capacity limit. Photo Credit: Heathrow Airports Ltd.

London Heathrow Airport has extended its capacity limit of 100,000 travelers per day through Oct. 29.

The limit, which the airport put in place last month to reduce the cancellations, delays, baggage mishaps and the general chaos caused by staffing shortages, had been scheduled to expire on Sept. 11. 

"Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel. That's why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway," Heathrow chief commercial officer Ross Baker said in a prepared remark. "We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve."

The capacity cap, Heathrow said, has improved punctuality at the airport and has reduced the number of last-minute cancellations. It has also reduced waits for bags. Other major European airports that introduced caps this summer include London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt

Heathrow said it consulted with airlines prior extending the capacity limit. 

"The capacity limits will be kept under regular review and could be lifted earlier should there be a sustained picture of better resilience and a material increase in resourcing levels, notably at some airline ground handlers which remains a core constraint on capacity at the airport," Heathrow said. 

The July decision to put the cap in place forced some airlines to suspend or sharply curtail ticket sales in order to be in comply with passenger limit. 

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