Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways on Friday said it would operate all five return daily flights to London Heathrow at full capacity until at least the end of July after the Britain’s busiest airport asked airlines to cut capacity to ease congestion.
“Our priority over the coming months is to maintain the resilience of our operation and to protect the travel plans of our customers flying to and from (Heathrow),” the airline said in an emailed statement.
Emirates airline said on Thursday it had rejected demands by London’s Heathrow Airport to cut capacity despite being threatened with legal action, and that it would continue to operate to schedule.
Britain’s busiest airport this week asked airlines to stop selling tickets for summer flights, capping the number of daily passengers flying from the hub to 100,000 to ease pressure on operations that have resulted in delayed and cancelled flights.
Airlines have already slashed thousands of flights from their summer schedules after UK aviation authorities, in a bid to prevent last-minute cancellations, said carriers wouldn’t be punished for not using valuable takeoff and landing slots.
Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, said the cuts weren’t enough, but Emirates drew a line, exposing tensions between the airport and the airlines that are its customers.
The problems have emerged around Europe. Booming demand for summer travel after two years of COVID-19 travel restrictions have swamped airlines and airports, which are shorthanded after many pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, and baggage handlers were laid off.
That’s left travelers facing last-minute cancellations, lengthy delays, lost luggage or long waits for bags.
With The Associated Press and Reuters