London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is extending its 100,000-a-day departing passenger limits until the end of October 2022 to “support more reliable and resilient passenger journeys”.

In an announcement, the airport said that since the cap was introduced in July 2022, passenger journeys have improved with fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter wait times for baggage, amid airport staff shortage.

London Heathrow said that after consulting with airlines, it will extend the existing passenger capacity limits through to October 29, 222, the end of the summer season. That period also includes the fall school vacation period at the end of October, which is usually a busy time for air travel.

In its 6-month update in July 2022, the airport said that the passenger cap will remain in place until airlines hire more ground staff. In its traffic report, LHR claimed that the capacity limit has helped ease travel disruption.

In the latest update, the airport operator said  it will regularly review capacity limits and they could be lifted earlier, “should there be a sustained picture of better resilience and a material increase in resourcing levels.”

“Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel. That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway,” Heathrow chief commercial officer Ross Baker said in a statement dated August 15, 2022.

Baker added: “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.”

LHR is not the only airport having to restrict numbers in view of  staff shortages being experienced in Europe and North America. Amsterdam Schipol Airport (AMS) has also placed passenger departure caps below 70,000 per day until the end of October 2022. 

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