Emirates denies travel restrictions in showdown with Heathrow airport

Airline EMIRATES said yesterday it had rejected calls from London’s Heathrow Airport to reduce capacity despite threats of legal action and intends to continue its six daily flights to Britain’s busiest airport.

eathrow this week urged airlines to stop selling some summer flight tickets and limit the number of passengers flying out of the hub to 100,000 a day to ease pressure on operations that have been unable to keep up with demand .

Emirates, which is owned by the Dubai government, said Heathrow gave the airline 36 hours from Wednesday to reduce capacity on its six daily flights, which will be operated by the superjumbo Airbus A380.

“Their communications not only dictated the specific flights on which we should evict paying passengers, but also threatened legal action for non-compliance,” the airline said.

“Until further notice, Emirates plans to operate to and from (Heathrow) as scheduled,” the statement said.

Emirates, the world’s largest operator of long-haul jets, relies on international flights for its operations.

Heathrow is one of the world’s most important hubs, while Emirates does not have a domestic market to cushion a drop in international traffic.

A Heathrow spokesman said the airport had been forced to impose restrictions after months of consultations with airlines failed to produce a solution, citing staff shortages as the main problem.

“We had no choice but to make the difficult decision to set a capacity cap to provide passengers with a better, more reliable journey and to ensure the safety of everyone working at the airport.”

“It would be disappointing if, instead of working together, an airline put winning a safe and reliable passenger journey first,” the spokesman added.

Other airlines such as Aer Lingus have said they are awaiting instructions from Heathrow on how capacity restrictions would affect them.

Some, like Etihad Airways, say they have been forced to reschedule flights at short notice.

The global airline association IATA has criticized the cuts.

Emirates said tens of thousands of passengers would be affected if the airline reduced capacity and that it was impossible to rebook travelers as upcoming flights were full.

A single Emirates A380 can carry more than 600 passengers.

The airline accused Heathrow of incompetence and a “blatant disregard” for consumers.

It urged Heathrow shareholders to scrutinize the management team’s decisions.

Emirates said dnata, a unit of parent company Emirates Group that provides ground handling and catering services at Heathrow, is able and willing to handle its flights there.

“So the crux of the matter lies with the central services and systems, which are the responsibility of the airport operator.”

Last month, Emirates said it was given just hours to scrap an A380 flight.

https://www.independent.ie/business/world/emirates-refuses-travel-curbs-in-showdown-with-heathrow-airport-41841146.html Emirates denies travel restrictions in showdown with Heathrow airport

Fry Electronics Team

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