Just as another major European airport announces its own passenger cap, London Heathrow is dropping its own.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, London Heathrow Airport will drop its cap on passenger numbers on Oct. 29. The cap was initially set at 100,000 over the summer after staff at Heathrow could not keep up with the passenger volume amidst a snapback in travel demand.
The 100,000 limit was lower than the 104,000 passenger average that Heathrow had been averaging prior to its placement during the typically busy summer travel season.
According to the airport, the cap “resulted in fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality, and shorter waits for bags”
“Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel. That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway,” Heathrow CCO Ross Barker said at the time.
Barker and other executives at the airport had long said that the goal was the remove the cap as soon as possible, but that “we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve.”
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, one of the international airports that became the face of travel chaos last summer, said this week that it will impose its own daily passenger limit until at least March because of ongoing staffing shortages at the airport.
The airport, in a message, said that it “made this choice to provide travelers reliable travelers a reliable travel experience, and predictability and stability for airlines.”
Schiphol wouldn’t confirm what the capacity would be, but the expectation would be to keep the 20% capacity cut that it had been employing in October. Schiphol also said that it is working with airlines and with unions and security companies to come up with solutions to return to normal operations, but said it had little choice but to cut capacity amidst an ongoing labor shortage.
Schiphol could potentially drop the limit at the end of January, as the airline said it will “look at whether more might be possible” starting then, however it is still committed to controlling the flow of passengers through security.