August 10, 2022
Emirates Hits back at London Heathrow’s Capping Scheme
Airlines Airports

Emirates Hits back at London Heathrow’s Capping Scheme

DALLAS – London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is facing heat from most airlines given its complete loss of control in running the airport smoothly.

Of these, the world’s largest international airline, Emirates (EK) has slammed LHR for its incompetence in planning ahead and now, through the new airport capacity limit, EK says it hurts the airlines, too.

As a result, the Dubai-based airline has rejected the request of LHR in regard to stopping selling too many tickets.

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5A, arrivals concourse. Photo: London Heathrow Airport

Comments From Emirates


“This is completely nonsensical and irresponsible and we reject this request,” the airline said.

“It is therefore highly regrettable that LHR last evening gave us 36 hours to comply with capacity cuts, a figure that appears to be plucked from thin air. Their communications not only dictated the specific flights on which we should throw out paying passengers but also threatened legal action for non-compliance.”

“At London Heathrow Airport (LHR), our ground handling and catering – run by dnata, part of the Emirates Group – are fully ready and capable of handling our flights.”

“They [London Heathrow] wish to force Emirates to deny seats to tens of thousands of travelers who have paid for, and booked months ahead, their long-awaited package holidays or trips to see their loved ones. And this, during the super peak period with the upcoming UK holidays and at a time when many people are desperate to travel after 2 years of pandemic restrictions.”

Photo: Siddarth Ganesh/Airways

How will Emirates’ Fly the A380 to LHR?


The new capped passenger limit is at 100,000 per day and it was given with such short notice that airlines are struggling to manage their schedules.

Emirates is one of the prime customers at LHR not just because it operates six times a day but also because all six are operated by the Airbus A380. Each Superjumbo has an average of around 500 seats to fill, which is approximately 6000 passengers return/day – that’s nearly 6% of the overall capped figure, a pie too large for a single airline to keep to itself.

Back in 2018, On average, Heathrow handled nearly 220,000 passengers each day, more than double what it can now. Only around 70 % of the employees are currently available for ground handling (airport staff), but the number of passengers has risen to nearly 85 % of the level before the pandemic.

The airline concluded by boldly stating, ” Until further notice, Emirates plans to operate as scheduled to and from LHR.”  


Featured image: Emirates A6-EUJ Airbus A380-861. Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways

EASA commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer based in Germany.

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