Heathrow has asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposed a daily limit of 100,000 passengers departing the airport, as it struggles to cope with the surge in demand.
Heathrow and other airports have experienced chaotic scenes in recent weeks, with massive queues amid shortages of ground staff, and airlines have cancelled hundreds of flights.
“Over the past few weeks, as departing passenger numbers have regularly exceeded 100,000 a day, we have started to see periods when service drops to a level that is not acceptable: long queue times, delays for passengers requiring assistance, bags not travelling with passengers or arriving late, low punctuality and last-minute cancellations,” the Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, wrote in an open letter to passengers on Tuesday.
“Some airlines have taken significant action, but others have not, and we believe that further action is needed now to ensure passengers have a safe and reliable journey. We have therefore made the difficult decision to introduce a capacity cap with effect from 12 July to 11 September. Similar measures to control passenger demand have been implemented at other airports both in the UK and around the world.”
He said the airport was asking airlines to stop selling summer tickets to limit disruption for passengers.