London Heathrow Airport apologizes to passengers for flight cancellations

London’s Heathrow Airport has apologized to passengers whose travel was interrupted by staff shortages and issued a warning that if the problem persists, it may ask airlines to cancel additional flights from their summer schedules to ease the burden. can say. Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, claimed that service levels have risen to acceptable norms in recent weeks due to excessive wait times for security checks, delays in assisting disabled passengers, and baggage that has either gone missing or arrived late. had fallen down.

“We would like to apologize to any passengers affected by this,” the airport said in a monthly traffic update. Rising demand for summer travel after two years of COVID-19 travel restrictions has ravaged airlines and airports in Europe, following layoffs of many pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, ground crew and baggage handlers Shorthand left.

At Heathrow, a technical fault in the baggage system has resulted in the accumulation of unclaimed baggage on arrival. Adding to the problem, Heathrow said that punctuality for incoming flights is “very low” due to delays at other airports and airspace congestion across Europe.

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Heathrow said it began recruiting in November in anticipation of a recovery in travel demand this summer and expects security personnel to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of July. It has also reopened Terminal 4 to give more room to passengers.

UK Airlines is slashing its summer flight schedules after officials were ordered to ensure they can operate uninterrupted throughout the summer. British Airways has cut its flights by 11% between April and October to avoid cancellation of flights on the day of departure.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said the airport would review the airlines’ proposed cuts and ask them to take further action if necessary. Underscoring Heathrow’s woes, the airport said in a separate statement that it ordered airlines operating in Terminals 3 and 5 to cancel 61 flights on Monday because it was expecting more passengers from there, which is the service. have the ability to do.

With inputs from Reuters