Ryanair boosts Stansted flights over ‘hopeless’ passenger cap for Heathrow | Business news

Ryanair will add more than 500 flights serving London Stansted during the October half-year period, as the airline’s boss branded Heathrow “hopeless” after it extended its passenger cap.

The low-cost operator said the move would provide capacity for an additional 100,000 travelers at the Essex airport.

It follows the decision from Heathrow to continue the flight restrictionsintroduced in July due to staff shortages, until the end of October.

The limit of 100,000 daily departure passengers was to end on 11 September.

The airport said without a cap it will not be able to manage its flight path safely and reliably.

But the extension will affect the families’ plans for half-term excursions.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “While desperate Heathrow continues to cut flights and raise fares for families, Ryanair and London Stansted continue to add flights, offering thousands of low-cost seats for the autumn holidays.”

Ryanair insisted that it and Stansted have “more than adequate staff to handle these extra flights”.

Heathrow has criticized airlines for a lack of ground handlers at the airport, which has led to thousands of pieces of luggage not being put on their owners’ planes this summer.

But air operators have accused the airport – Britain’s largest and one of the world’s busiest – of failing to prepare for the drop in passenger numbers after COVID pandemic.

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Baggage “chaos” at Heathrow Airport

Heathrow aims to drop cap ‘as soon as possible’

In response to the cap extension, a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that Heathrow Airport has already decided to extend the passenger capacity limit until the end of October, as additional resources come on line each week and the airport experience improves. .

“Airline customers have a right to expect their orders to be honored and we are doing everything in our power to minimize disruption and get our customers where they need to be smoothly.

“We urge Heathrow to provide a comprehensive plan to return to normal operations as soon as possible.”

Heathrow was unable to provide figures on the number of people who have already booked half-time flights to and from the airport.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are reviewing their timetables for the period, but no decisions on further cancellations have been made.

Heathrow’s chief commercial officer Ross Baker said: “Our primary concern is to ensure we provide our passengers with a reliable service when they travel.

“We therefore introduced temporary capacity restrictions in July, which have already improved travel during the summer holidays.

“We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve.”

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Last week Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said that the airport was starting to recover from the travel chaos of recent months.

Thousands of jobs were lost in the aviation industry during the pandemic, as travel restrictions saw most flights grounded, and there has been a race to recruit new workers to cope with rising demand.

Training employees and securing the necessary security clearance has also proven to be a lengthy process.

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