QANTAS: A380 affected by Heathrow capacity limits. Flights rescheduled.
London’s Heathrow Airport is not coping. Plagued with staffing issues, the airport has moved to 100,000 passengers per day capacity limit through until September 11. The limit on passenger numbers is 20% below what the airport is currently handling and way below pre-pandemic capacity.
Emirates has been kicking up a fuss about having to reduce flights into Heathrow, although has now come to an agreement with the airport. The issue with Emirates has overshadowed the effect of the cap on Qantas.
Qantas runs 2 flights a day to London, and they don’t want to give either of them up. To do so would have a devastating effect on existing booked passengers. A compromise reached between Qantas and the airport means that Tuesday’s QF2 flight out of Heathrow will leave 9 hours early at 12:00 instead of its usual 21:05, and from Terminal 4 instead of the usual Terminal 3.
Problem is that earlier departure doesn’t seem to work either for Qantas aircraft availability, Singapore Airport take-off spots or maybe Sydney Airport’s curfew. The compromise is an 11-hour layover in Singapore – which will not make a lot of Qantas passengers very happy! The good news if you are affected is that you will have hotel room access during that layover.
According to the story in the Australian, this is not the ongoing solution, and that is still being negotiated.
Interestingly, the usual 9 pm departure time from Heathrow is still being displayed on the Airport’s website. However, the Qantas website timetable reflects the change.
Expect the Qantas Twitter feed to explode with this as one more reason to lynch CEO Alan Joyce. There are plenty of things to blame Joyce for, but this is not one of them! This will cost Qantas actual money as well as goodwill. A couple of hundred hotel rooms in Singapore don’t come cheap, even at a corporate contract rate.
I’ll try and keep you up to date as Qantas negotiates a better solution with Heathrow Airport.