Emirates has rejected demands from London Heathrow airport (LHR) to cut its passenger capacity.
According to the airline, it was given 36 hours to comply with LHR’s request or face legal action.
The exasperated Dubai-based airline, which has operations at LHR, issued a statement regarding the matter saying that LHR’s requests are “unreasonable and unacceptable”.
The airline stated: “Their communications not only dictated the specific flights on which we should throw out paying passengers, but also threatened legal action for non-compliance.”
Emirates maintains that LHR’s request is a blatant disregard for consumers. “They wish to force Emirates to deny seats to tens of thousands of travellers who have paid for, and booked months ahead, their long-awaited package holidays or trips to see their loved ones,” said Emirates.
The airline revealed that it believes in “doing the right thing by its customers” so re-booking the sheer numbers of potentially impacted passengers at such short notice is impossible with all flights running full for the next weeks.
Emirates stated that the LHR management team are cavalier about travellers and their airline customers. The carrier said that all the signals of a strong travel rebound were there, and for months, it had been publicly vocal about the matter.
“We planned ahead to get to a state of readiness to serve customers and travel demand, including rehiring and training 1 000 A380 pilots in the past year. LHR chose not to act, not to plan, not to invest,” said the vexed airline.
Emirates revealed that LHR is now faced with an “airmageddon” situation due to their incompetence and non-action, which they are pushing the entire burden – of costs and the scramble to sort the mess – to airlines and travellers.
“Considering LHR handled 80.9 million passengers annually in 2019, or a daily average of 219 000, the cap represents greater than a 50% cut at a time when LHR claims to have 70% of ground handling resources in place. Until further notice, Emirates plans to operate as scheduled to and from LHR,” says the airline.