Heathrow lauds ‘strong performance’ over Platinum Jubilee holiday in UK
A total of 5.3 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in May, around 79% of 2019 levels, which the UK hub claims is in line with its revised forecast.
It notes that despite the bad publicity about long queues and flight cancellations at airports across the globe due to the lack of staff, ‘close coordination and planning with airport partners meant that passengers got away on their flights from Heathrow over the busy Jubilee half term’.
The airport states: “Check in generally worked well, with more passengers checking in online and despite May being our busiest month since March 2020, 90% of passengers were through security in less than 10 minutes.
“No more flights were cancelled at short notice than on any normal day and Border Force performed well.”
Heathrow notes that as part of its longstanding ramp up plan, it will reopen Terminal 4 on June 14 and 30 airlines will move in ahead of the summer peak.
It adds that it will be increasing the size of its security, engineering and services teams, and supporting other employers across the airport with their recruitment.
“While we rebuild capacity from the pandemic, resources remains tight, in line with other airports in the UK and Europe,” says an airport statement.
“We are working closely with airlines and handlers to match supply and demand. This has made the difference at Heathrow in being able to get passengers away over Easter and the Jubilee half term and is now being adopted by other major hubs in Europe.
“Recent criticism of service levels across the sector demonstrates that our plan to maintain high levels of passenger service during the H7 regulatory period is the right one for consumers, and that the last thing passengers want is a cut price plan that leads to the cancelled holidays, stress and “hassle” seen at other airports.
“We urge the CAA to protect service and resilience levels, incentivise investment and maintain affordable private financing, all of which can be achieved for less than the equivalent of a 2% increase in ticket prices.”
Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, commented: “I’m immensely proud of the way my team has worked with airlines and other partners to ensure passengers got away during the Jubilee half term.
“We continue to make good progress with our plans to ramp up capacity and are working closely with airlines and government to keep supply and demand in balance as we grow, so that passengers can travel through Heathrow this summer with confidence.
“We now need a regulatory settlement from the CAA that protects service and resilience levels, incentivises investment and maintains affordable private financing. Failure to invest risks degrading passenger experience at a time when it has never been more important for operations to ramp up smoothly.”