Gulf carrier Emirates has refused to comply with Heathrow’s passenger cap, saying it will continue to operate flights as scheduled.
The airline described Heathrow’s request as “unreasonable and unacceptable,” arguing that moving some of its flights from the west-London hub to alternative UK airports at the last minute was not realistic.
The Dubai carrier added that it has no plans of cutting capacity even after Heathrow threatened legal action for non-compliance.
“It is therefore highly regrettable that (Heathrow) last evening gave us 36 hours to comply with capacity cuts, of a figure that appears to be plucked from thin air,” the airline said in a statement.
Emirates justified its decision by saying its ground handling services were “fully ready and capable” to handle traffic volumes.
Heathrow’s decision to cap daily departing passengers at 100,000 until 11 September was lambasted by industry stakeholders.
Willie Walsh – former boss of IAG and now at the helm of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – called the move “ridiculous.”
“Heathrow is trying to maximise the profitability that they get from the airport at the expense of airlines,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.
The aviation executive alleged Heathrow underestimated demand to to “fool” the Civil Aviation Regulator (CAA), reigniting a long-standing feud with the airport.
Gatwick crowned UK’s worst airport, as 3.2 per cent of flights axed
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