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30 Airlines Wait-Listed at Heathrow Airport Due to Capacity Issues


Heathrow officials say business is strong, but the airport is at capacity with a growing wait-list due to expansion problems.

Airlines are lining up at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to increase business, but airport officials say that they can’t add additional flights due to lack of infrastructure. According to a report from The Telegraph, LHR officials claim that as many as 30 carriers are waiting to launch new routes or increase existing service frequency at the busiest airport in the U.K.

The CEO of LHR, John Holland-Kaye, said there are airlines from North America, South America and Asia interested in increasing their business at the airport. However, LHR is already running at a 98 percent capacity, and officials have said it is impossible to increase service without an additional runway. Currently, LHR serves nearly 200,000 passengers on a daily basis.

“There is massive demand for flights into Heathrow,” Holland-Kaye told The Telegraph. “There are Chinese carriers that are queuing up to get here. Air China told me they could have four flights a day coming into Heathrow if there was only more capacity.”

Holland-Kaye’s comments come as the Airports Commission prepares to take up the issue of airport expansion in London. With the dismissal of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s proposal to build a third airport, the commission’s remaining options include increasing capacity at LHR or adding a second runway to Gatwick Airport (LGW). Holland-Kaye claims that increasing capacity at LGW would only benefit European low-cost carriers, rather than provide long-term growth for the British economy.

The Airports Commission will launch a national consultation in November to help determine how to move forward. The commission will deliver their final recommendations on airport expansion after the U.K. General Election in Summer 2015.

[Photo: London Heathrow Airport]

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