Emirates agrees to cap summer ticket sales to help Heathrow cope.
Emirates has agreed to cap sales of its flights out of London’s Heathrow until mid-August, after the airport asked airlines to scale back capacity so it can deal with the summer travel chaos.
Last week, Emirates rejected the request calling it an “entirely unreasonable and unacceptable” move that shows “blatant disregard for customers.”
In a blistering statement, the airline accused Heathrow’s management of “incompetence” for not being ready to deal with the “super peak period” for travel.
Surging post-pandemic travel demand has seen airports around the world struggling to cope, leading to delays and cancellations.
Despite last week’s verbal attack, Emirates over the weekend backed down from its refusal to co-operate with Heathrow’s capacity limits.
In a joint statement, Emirates and Heathrow said they had come to an agreement.
“Emirates agreed the airline was ready and willing to work with the airport to remediate the situation over the next two weeks, to keep demand and capacity in balance and provide passengers with a smooth and reliable journey through Heathrow this summer,” said Emirates Airlines President Sir Tim Clark and Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye.
The companies added: “In the meantime, Emirates flights from Heathrow operate as scheduled and ticketed passengers may travel as booked.”
Etihad Airways, another UAE-based airline, told Reuters on Friday it would operate its five return daily Abu Dhabi-Heathrow flights at full capacity until the end of the month, despite Heathrow’s request.
Etihad added it was “awaiting further information on the airport’s longer-term plans for August”.
British Airways, which has the biggest presence at Heathrow has already cut 10,000 flights through October.
Heathrow said it has been asking airlines for months to help draw up a plan to solve their staffing challenges, “but no clear plans were forthcoming, and with each passing day, the problem got worse.”
“We had no choice but to take the difficult decision to impose a capacity cap designed to give passengers a better, more reliable journey and to keep everyone working at the airport safe,” the airport said.
“It would be disappointing if instead of working together, any airline would want to put profit ahead a safe and reliable passenger journey.”