Emirates condemns Heathrow Airport order to cut flights; Management is called incompetent

Middle East carrier Emirates on Thursday rejected calls by London’s Heathrow Airport for airlines to cut passenger numbers on summer flights to reduce travel disruption, calling it “totally unreasonable and unacceptable”. The move described shows gross disregard for customers.

In a blistering statement, the airline accused Heathrow’s management of not being prepared to deal with the super peak period for travel. The airport says it has been seeking airlines’ help for a solution for months.

Emirates, one of the world’s largest airlines, fired back a day after Heathrow announced it was capping daily passenger numbers at 100,000 and asking airlines to stop selling tickets as it continues to increase travel. It seeks to address the travel chaos caused by demand and staff shortage.

Airlines have already cut thousands of flights from their summer schedules to prevent last-minute cancellations, UK Aviation officials said, adding that carriers will not be penalized for not using valuable takeoff and landing slots.

Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, said the cuts were not enough, but Emirates drew a line, highlighting tensions between the airport and the airlines that are its customers.

Problems have emerged around Europe. Rising demand for summer travel after two years of COVID-19 travel restrictions has swallowed airlines and airports shorthandedly after many pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff and baggage handlers were laid off. This leaves passengers facing last-minute cancellations, long delays, lost luggage or long waits for bags.

Emirates, which operates six daily return flights between Heathrow and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said it was “extremely sorry” that the airport on Wednesday night gave 36 hours to comply with a one-figure capacity cut , which appears to have fallen out of thin air.

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The airline said that their communication not only directed specific flights on which we should exclude paying passengers, but also threatened legal action for non-compliance.

Other airlines grumbled as well. British Airways, which has the largest presence at Heathrow and has already cut its scheduled flights by 11% through October, said the restrictions were incredibly disappointing and that it would cancel some additional flights.

Heathrow blames a shortage of ground staff, who are contracted by airlines to check-in passengers, load and unload bags, and prepare aircraft for their next trip.

However, Emirates said that its ground-handling and catering services are owned by its parent company and are fully prepared and capable of handling our flights.” The blame is instead on the airport’s central services and systems, “It said.

The airline accused Heathrow management of being “cavalier” regarding passengers and airlines, showing signs of a strong travel rebound for months. Emirates said it had agreed, which included retraining and training 1,000 pilots over the past year, but Heathrow failed to act, plan or do. invest.

Now facing an Airmageddon situation due to their incompetence and non-action, they are putting the full burden of cost and scramble to resolve the mess to airlines and passengers, the statement said.

In response, Heathrow said it has been asking airlines for months to help them formulate a plan to solve their staffing challenges, but no clear plan was coming in, and with each passing day, the problem was getting worse. got worse.

We had no choice but to make the difficult decision to impose a capacity cap designed to give passengers better, more reliable travel and to keep everyone working at the airport safe,” Heathrow said.

It would be disappointing if an airline would prefer to pursue a safe and reliable passenger journey instead of working together.

Emirates said booking for these potentially affected passengers was impossible as all flights were grounded for the next few weeks, including those at other London airports and other airlines. It said it was also unrealistic to move some operations to other UK airports in a short period of time.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s Lufthansa said this week it was cutting 2,000 more flights to Frankfurt and Munich, mostly at peak times in the afternoon and evening over the next week, with 770 flights topping the ax from July 8 to 14. was killed.

The airline said more scheduled flight cancellations in August are possible at a later date.

There are also limited daily flights or passenger (AP) flights at London’s Gatwick and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airports.

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