London Heathrow says it experienced 40 years of passenger growth in four months


Heathrow, the U.K.’s largest airport, on Monday apologized for bad service after struggling to cope with what it called 40 years of passenger growth in just four months.

The airport, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial FER, -3.19%, gave its latest traffic updates, showing traffic through June surging 283% to 26.07 million passengers, including 6 million in June alone.

The airport operator detailed problems including long queue times, bags arriving late or not all and delays for passengers with reduced mobility. It said it had anticipated capacity recovering this sumer, and by the end of July will have as many people working in security as it had before the pandemic.

Heathrow also said that passengers should not arrive earlier than three hours before their flights.

Heathrow has not been unique in struggling to keep up a surge in traffic. RIght now the Dutch government has stopped allowing airlines to sell tickets, in a ban that won’t lift until Aug. 1. Strikes have hit French and Belgian airports, and the German Economic Institute estimated 20% of security, check-in and aircraft handling jobs there are vacant.

Wizz Air WIZZ, -3.55%, an airline serving Central and Eastern Europe, said it will have to cut capacity by a further 5% to help avoid cancellations as it deals with slot allocation issues and turnaround timing problems.

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