Heathrow discontinues passenger caps for holidays


Nov. 11 (UPI) — Heathrow airport will discontinue its passenger caps for the holiday season.

“We have been working with airlines and their ground handlers to prepare for the Christmas peak, and have a good plan, which will not require any capacity cap,” read a press statement from Heathrow on Friday.


When COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted earlier this year, Heathrow was left understaffed in the face of a surge of new travelers. To prevent disruptions Heathrow imposed a cap of 100,000 travelers per day in July.

The airport served 5.9 million passengers in October, 85% of 2019 levels. The airport’s year-to-date passenger count is 50 million, 74% of 2019 levels, according to the statement.

The travel cap resulted in some airlines having to cancel flights to remain in compliance with the policy.

In addition to announcing that companies across Heathrow will need to hire 25,000 additional workers, the airport is working to implement new strategies to take pressure off staff. Options under consideration include the consolidation of passengers from flights with fewer passengers onto other flights, and moving more flights to quieter times of day.

“The increase in passenger numbers this year is higher than at any other airport in Europe. Companies across Heathrow have done an incredible job in recruiting and training around 16,00 colleagues over the last 12 months, which is keeping capacity and demand in balance,” read the statement.