Emirates has refused to comply with London Heathrow’s (LHR) demands that carriers decrease flights in order to meet a passenger number restriction. Due to current problems during the summer travel peak, the airport has urged carriers to curtail flights.
The airline stated that LHR airport had given Emirates 36 hours to comply with capacity cuts and had threatened legal action if they did not.
“This is completely absurd and unacceptable, and we reject these requests,” said Emirates in a statement.
Emirates indicated that the “operating requirements cannot be a surprise for the airport” after resuming six daily Airbus A380 flights to LHR beginning October 2021. The Dubai-based carrier further stated that re-booking the “huge” number of possibly impacted customers or relocating any of its passenger operations to other UK airports at such short notice is not feasible.
“Heathrow opted not to act, plan, or invest.” Faced with a difficult situation as a result of incompetence and inaction, they are shifting the entire responsibility – of costs and the hurry to sort out the problem – to airlines and passengers,” Emirates stated.
The announcement came only days after Heathrow set a passenger capacity limit and urged airlines to stop selling tickets. During the busiest summer season, the airport estimates airlines, ground handlers, and the airport can only serve 100,000 departing passengers per day.
“Some airlines have taken significant effort, but others have not,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye stated in a statement released on July 12, 2022. “As a result, we have made the difficult decision to implement a capacity cap from July 12 to September 11.”