Heathrow Airport extends passenger ceiling until October amid travel chaos

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LONDON – One of Europe’s busiest airports has extended its passenger cap until late October, as travel disruptions and staff shortages continue into the summer.

London Heathrow Airport said it would not allow more than 100,000 people to go outside each day, extending it longer than initially planned, a restriction it said has eased the chaos plaguing Europe’s summer travel.

The travel center imposed a daily cap in July during the peak travel season, with images of lost baggage piling up on building floors and lines circling around security barriers for hours. Heathrow Airport pointed to the shortage of staff suffering from high traffic after countries emerged from the lockdowns caused by the Corona virus that hit the airline industry.

London Airport He said On Monday, the temporary cancellation cap resulted in fewer last-minute cancellations and “shorter bag wait times.”

Just as the summer began and the United States Raise the requirement to test for the Corona virus, pent-up demand for travel collides with the pandemic layoffs that have hit workers. The result was the cancellation of thousands of flights and labor strikes across Europe.

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German pilots and French airport workers Italian air traffic controllers have all pulled out in recent weeks, due to a labor shortage and rising inflation. Union activists in Paris have called for better wages and emergency hiring to restore employment levels prior to the pandemic.

Travelers in Europe added a record heat wave – which threatened to melt airport runways in Britain – to a list 2022 hurdles.

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Chaos filled stations with stranded passengers, including in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport When Dutch carrier KLM briefly canceled upcoming European flights in June. The airport imposed a cap on departures at that time, which was also extended until October.

“Air traffic around the world continues to approach 2019 levels,” according to FlightAware, which tracks airport traffic and reports “significant growth” this week compared to last year’s flights in Europe and China.

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Some consumer rights groups have blamed the airline industry for failing to plan for increased travel.

Heathrow said this week it has employed 1,300 people in the past six months in an effort to rebuild staff before the pandemic. In Monday’s announcement, it said the passenger limits would remain under review and “could be raised earlier” if conditions improve, including a “substantial increase” in resources.

“We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone working at the airport has the resources to provide the service our passengers deserve,” said Ross Baker, Heathrow’s chief commercial officer.

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