UAE-UK flights: Etihad to operate to Heathrow at full capacity in July

Emirates also seeking to resolve the ongoing travel chaos


Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Fri 15 Jul 2022, 8:50 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Jul 2022, 10:17 PM

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.

Summer plans of thousands of holidaymakers were thrown into chaos after Britian’s biggest airport took the unprecedented step of capping passenger numbers. The airport banned daily out-bound numbers from exceeding 100,000 over fears airlines can’t safely handle anymore due to staff shortages.

In an open letter to passengers on the capacity cap, London Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland- Kaye, said, “Our assessment is that the maximum number of daily departing passengers that airlines, airline, ground handlers and the airport can collectively serve over the summer is no more than 100,000.”

He added. “The latest forecasts indicate that even despite the amnesty, daily departing seats over the summer will average 104,000, giving a daily excess of 4,000 seats. On average only about 1,500 of these 4,000 daily seats have currently been sold to passengers.”

Moreover, Kaye requested airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers. On Friday,

Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates said it hopes to engage with Heathrow Airport (LHR) to resolve the ‘ongoing travel chaos’. In an interview with the BBC, president of Emirates Airlines Tim Clark said, “We are going to work with them (LHR), and I am sure they will accommodate us without taking the draconian measures they suggested two days ago.”


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