Fares rose by ‘up to 30%’ because of Heathrow passenger cap

The Business Travel Association has welcomed confirmation that Heathrow will lift its passenger cap as planned on October 29 – but said the limit had forced fares up.

The airport announced in July that it will have a capacity cap to help it cope with disruption caused by soaring demand amid a struggle to recruit after Covid restrictions eased.

The cap was set at 100,000 per day and airlines were told to stop selling summer season tickets to limit the impact on passengers.

The cap was originally set to end on September 11 but in August the airport said it would extend the cap through most of October – taking in the busy school-half term period.

Clive Wratten, BTA chief executive, said: “Heathrow airport’s decision to lift the passenger cap at the end of the October is some much-needed good news for business travellers and our sector which supports them.

“September and October have been hampered by fewer flights during the vitally important post-summer business period, and the removal of the cap will enable business travel to grow again.

“As a direct result, business travellers have been faced with an up to 30% increase on the cost of their flights compared to pre-pandemic prices.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We took necessary action in July to introduce a temporary capacity cap which has since been extended through to the end of October.

“This cap resulted in fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter waits for bags.

“Our focus has always been on removing the cap as quickly as possible – but we will only do so if we are confident that adding in more passengers will not erode the service levels that the cap has secured.

“We continue to work with all of our airline partners ahead of the winter season to ensure a smooth operation for our passengers.”

More: Heathrow remains ‘fragile’ and passenger cap ‘a necessity’

Heathrow extends capacity cap to cover October half-term

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