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Heathrow is asking airlines to stop selling summer tickets as it limits daily passengers to 100,000

CEO John Holland-Kaye announced the “difficult decision” in an open letter to passengers, saying “in recent weeks, since the number of departing passengers has regularly exceeded 100,000 a day, we have begun to see periods when service falls to a level that is not acceptable … Our colleagues go out of their way to get as many passengers away as possible, but we can not endanger their own safety and well-being. “

Many airlines have worked to reduce the number of passengers going in and out of Heathrow. But Holland-Kaye said Heathrow’s latest forecast showed that a redundant number of seats had already been sold, and therefore airlines had to stop selling tickets now.

“Even despite the amnesty, daily departure seats over the summer will average 1[ads1]04,000 – giving a daily profit of 4,000 seats. On average, only about 1,500 of these 4,000 daily seats are sold to passengers, so we ask our airline partners to quit. to sell summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers “

In 2018, the daily number of passengers passing through Heathrow was almost 220,000, broken down by arrivals and departures.

Lufthansa (HAIR)which has already canceled thousands of departures from Frankfurt and Munich for the summer season, said it could make further adjustments to the schedule “for the traffic peaks in August.”

“Lufthansa has thus made a significant contribution to relieving airports, including London Heathrow,” a spokesman for CNN Business said.

The head of the International Air Transport Association, the group representing global airlines, called Heathrow’s travel restrictions “ridiculous”.

“Airlines have predicted stronger traffic than Heathrow has predicted … they have obviously been completely wrong,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “Telling airlines to stop selling – what a ridiculous thing for an airport to say to an airline.”

Walsh, former CEO of British Airways owner IAG, added: “Heathrow is trying to maximize the profitability they get from the airport at the expense of the airlines.”

A Heathrow spokesman dismissed Willie Walsh’s comments, saying to Reuters: “Aviation is under significant pressure as demand increases – at Heathrow we have met 40 years of growth in just four months and what we need is cooperation and investment in services to protect passengers, not ill-informed comments from retired airlines executives. ”

– Sharon Browne-Peter contributed with reporting.

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