Now that travel and vaccination restrictions have started to ease up, more people are flocking to the airports than we've seen in the last two years in order to travel and take a relaxing vacation. Europe as a whole is experiencing a huge travel surge at the moment, leaving London as one of the busiest airports.
Even though politicians and health officials are still trying to make us scared of coronavirus, most people are over it by now and have resumed their normal life. Summer has always been a season when people travel more than usual, especially by air. Last month, the U.S. saw a record-high number of travelers, which resulted in a huge amount of flight delays and cancellations. But London's Heathrow airport is currently feeling the heat more than anyone else, so much so that they had to place restrictions on the number of tickets being sold.
London Airport Limits How Many Airline Tickets Can Be Sold Due to a Summer Surge of Travelers in Europe
In the summer before the coronavirus pandemic, roughly 125,000 passengers traveled through Heathrow in one day and the estimated number for this summer is 104,000 a day. It's still lower than what Heathrow is accustomed to pre-Covid, but it presents an issue because the airport apparently isn't "up to full speed" yet and hasn't replaced its workforce with enough new hires in order to handle the demand. Heathrow says ground handlers for baggage are significantly understaffed at the moment.
As a result, Heathrow has issued a two-month cap on how many passengers are allowed to fly through the airport in one day. Only 100,000 a day are allowed through Heathrow in one day, and this rule will last until September 11.
"Our objective is to protect flights for the vast majority of passengers at Heathrow this summer,” Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye said in a statement. “We recognize that this will mean some summer journeys will either be moved to another day, another airport or be canceled and we apologize to those whose travel plans are affected.”
Europe is experiencing a unique surge in travelers compared to the U.S., where there is still a pilot shortage, and Asia. British Airways has gotten rid of 13% of its planned capacity for this summer; they announced a 10% reduction in May. Across the UK, the number of flight cancellations tripled in June compared to June 2019. Additionally, the UK, France, and Scandinavia are seeing staffing shortages. The German airline Lufthansa had to get rid of a third of its workforce due to coronavirus travel restrictions.