Emirates Airline has openly slammed London Heathrow Airport (LHR) for their plans to limit the number of passengers that can pass through and fly in a day and the time deadline in which to do it.
Heathrow said they will limit the number of tickets that airlines can sell (that fly out of LHR) and if they already have reached that number they cannot sell any more.
Airlines reportedly have been given 36 hours to comply with the cuts.
Emirates is, shall we say, less than thrilled.
"This is entirely unreasonable and unacceptable, and we reject these demands."
In their statement released today, the airline criticized Heathrow for not only 'plucking' the time deadline 'out of thin air', but is rejecting the airport's demands of which Emirates says:
1. London Heathrow is 'dictating' which flights they have to cancel.
2. Heathrow is threatening legal action for non-compliance.
Emirates goes on to criticize the airport's 'blatant disregard' for tens of thousands of travelers who've already booked flights...some months in advance, for their holiday travel.
Emirates also says rebooking flyers to other airports on short notice is not realistic:
'Ensuring ground readiness to handle and turnaround a widebody long-haul aircraft with 500 passengers onboard is not as simple as finding a parking spot at a mall.'
Emirates Says They Have The Staffing to Service All Their Flights Out Of Heathrow, But the Airport Does Not
Emirates says they planned months in advance for a sharp travel rebound by hiring pilots, ground crew, and other operational staff to meet the demand.
They accuse Heathrow of not planning at all:
'LHR chose not to act, not to plan, not to invest. Now faced with an “airmageddon” situation due to their incompetence and non-action, they are pushing the entire burden – of costs and the scramble to sort the mess - to airlines and travellers.'
Emirates concludes in their statement that they encourage the UK Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority to investigate LHR to see if they took the steps they should have for this unprecedented scenario.
My Take: Unprecedented is spot on. We've never seen anything quite like this. It's difficult to know if LHR did its best to plan for something like this. Emirates claims that they have...and that LHR was, in effect, 'asleep at the wheel'.
One thing is likely: Emirates has a bold, robust management and will not be pushed around.
Is it crazy to think Emirates would actually vacate LHR over time and move operations to Gatwick and other fields.
Time will tell...