Heathrow says passenger cap has improved operations

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Passengers on international flights arrive at Heathrow Airport, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, London, Britain, July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – Heathrow, London, said the decision to limit the number of flights after struggling to cope with a rebound in travel had led to a marked improvement in punctuality and passenger management. luggage.

The airport capped the number of passenger departures at 100,000 a day earlier this month to limit queues, baggage delays and cancellations, much to the dismay of some airlines.

He said on Tuesday the decision had stabilized his operations, but he was still struggling with a lack of ground handlers.

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Heathrow said the number of people employed in ground handling has fallen sharply during the pandemic as airlines cut costs. He estimated that airline ground handlers were around 70% of pre-pandemic levels and said there had been no increase since January.

The airport said its first-half adjusted pre-tax loss was reduced from 466 million pounds ($562 million) to 321 million due to increased passenger numbers, but said it was still struggling with a shortage of ground handlers.

It does not plan to pay a dividend in 2022.

“Airline ground carrier performance has been much more stable since the cap came into effect, and we have seen a marked improvement in on-time performance and baggage performance,” he said.

Emirates, the world’s largest operator of long-haul jets, initially rejected requests for capacity reductions at the airport before adding another service to Dubai from London’s rival Heathrow, Gatwick.

($1 = 0.8295 pounds)

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Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by Kylie MacLellan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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