Heathrow has apologised for unacceptable service levels as it continues to battle the ongoing travel chaos.
In a trading update published today, the west-London hub said that while it started recruiting staff in November, rebuilding capacity quickly following the end of travel restrictions had been “very challenging.”
Over the last few weeks, travellers have reported scenes of “total mayhem” at Heathrow, with dozens of flights cancelled at the last minute.
Around 10,000 customers were disrupted today as the airport cancelled more than 60 flights at the last minute. Services were cut from Terminal 3 and 5 and involved the likes of British Airways, Virgin and Air France.
The hub – which reported that 6 million passengers passed through its gates in June – apologised to those affected by the ongoing chaos, saying it might ask airlines to cut additional flights to guarantee smoother operations.
“We will review the schedule changes that airlines have submitted in response to the government’s requirement to minimise disruption for passengers this summer and will ask them to take further action if necessary,” said chief executive John Holland-Kaye.
“We want everyone who is travelling through Heathrow to be confident that they will have a safe and reliable journey.”
Holland-Kaye’s words come after the UK Government told airlines to cut summer schedules to improve efficiency.
To avoid last-minute cancellations, carriers were given an “amnesty” period to give back their airport summer slots if unsure they would be able to operate them, City A.M. reported.
British Airways (BA) was among those who took advantage of the “amnesty” period, which came to an end on Friday.
According to calculations by the Times, BA has axed 18 per cent of its summer services.
Just last week, the carrier axed another 10,300 flights for the August-October period.
“While taking further action is not where we wanted to be, it’s the right thing to do for our customers and our colleagues,” said a company spokesperson.
“This new flexibility means that we can further reduce our schedule and consolidate some of our quieter services so that we can protect as many of our holiday flights as possible.”