London Heathrow Airport has imposed a cap on the number of passengers who can use the air harbour each day and called on airlines to stop selling tickets for summer flights this year.
Heathrow said in a statement on Tuesday that with these measures, airport management intends to try and rectify the situation with mass flight cancellations due to staff shortages.
From now until September 11, the airport will be able to handle a maximum of 100 thousand people a day. It is worth noting that this is 4,000 less than the average number of passengers that the airport estimates would depart Heathrow daily in the summer.
"We are asking our partners in the airlines to stop selling tickets for summer flights to limit the negative impact on passengers," said Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye.
All this comes against the backdrop of a dramatic shortage of maintenance staff facing British airports. Tens of thousands of staff were made redundant by airlines and airports during the coronavirus pandemic and it is now impossible to recruit the staff quickly enough.
The problem became particularly acute in early June, when the country declared a four-day weekend to mark the 70th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Thousands of people then faced flight cancellations and were unable to go on holiday at all.
It was previously reported that nearly 6 million people passed through the airport in June, up from 957,000 in the same month in 2021, when restrictions were imposed on air passengers due to the coronavirus, but still less than the 7.25 million passengers recorded in June 2019, before the pandemic began.
However, in the first six months of this year, the airport checked in 26 million people, almost seven times more than in the same period last year.