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Air chaos in Europe: London limits number of passengers – 07/12/2022



London Heathrow Airport, the main hub for British air transport, announced on Tuesday (12) that it will reduce the flow of passengers at the terminal to 100,000 a day. The information about a reduction in services over the northern hemisphere summer was given a day after at least 61 flights were cancelled.

Like other airports in the UK and Europe, Heathrow has been in chaos for several months now, with constant delays in takeoffs and landings, long lines of passengers, problems with bag delivery and flight cancellations.

The London hub is one of those struggling to meet growing demand due to a lack of staff. Last week, more than a hundred flights with Lisbon as origin or destination were cancelled, in a framework that involved worker strikes and incidents on the runway.

“On average, only 1,500 of these 4,000 canceled seats per day have ever been sold, so we ask our partner companies to stop selling tickets for the summer in order to limit the impact to tourists,” said Heathrow CEO John Holland- Kaye, in a statement.

According to the executive, some critical airport functions still suffer from a lack of key personnel, “in particular ground workers hired by airlines” to manage check-in and baggage handling.

At the end of June, the terminal had already asked some airlines to reduce the number of flights. British companies and airports, which have laid off thousands of people during the Covid-19 pandemic, are struggling to recruit employees.

At that time, thousands of tourists from the country were stranded in foreign countries after series of operational problems affected the sector, amidst Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee holiday. Nearly 500 flights to or from the UK during the four-day festivities have been suspended.

The aviation industry is struggling to cope with a growth in demand for travel, and difficulties are spreading to countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden. In the United States, the problem has persisted for more than a year, with peaks having been recorded earlier this year, when a wave of bad weather was added to the rise in Covid cases linked to the omicron variant, impacting crews.

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