Tag Archives: london heathrow airport

World Cup travellers facing Heathrow flight woes as Unite workers strike over pay

Unite, the Union, issued this statement for a strike at London’s Heathrow Airport:

Workers employed by Dnata and Menzies at Heathrow will take three days of strike action beginning on Friday, November 18, 2022, in a dispute over pay.

Strikes called

The strike action will begin in the early hours of Friday, November 18 and it will be completed in the early hours of Monday, November 21. It will lead to disruption, cancellations and delays at Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4. The strike action will particularly affect Qatar Airways, which has scheduled an additional 10 flights a week during the World Cup.

The strike action involves 700 workers employed by Dnata and Menzies. The workforce carry out a wide variety of roles, including ground-handling, airside transport and cargo.

Decent pay rise

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members at Dnata and Menzies undertake highly challenging roles and are simply seeking a decent pay rise. Both companies are highly profitable and can fully afford to make a fair pay increase. The owners and directors are simply lining their own pockets rather than paying their workers fairly.

“The workers at Heathrow will have Unite’s complete support during this dispute.”

Airlines affected

Other leading airlines that will be hit heavily by the strike action include Virgin, Singapore Airlines, Cathay-Pacific and Emirates. Passengers returning to the United States for the Thanksgiving holiday are also set to be adversely affected.

 Both Dnata and Menzies have only been prepared to offer pay cuts disguised as pay increases. Dnata has offered its workers a five per cent increase, while the offers for Menzies workers vary between two and six per cent. All the offers are far below the real rate of inflation (RPI), which currently stands at 12.6 per cent.

Both companies operate globally and are highly lucrative. Menzies’ latest accounts reveal it made a profit of £69 million while Dnata’s profit was £27 million.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA.

London Heathrow was Europe’s busiest hub over the summer, but outlook for demand remains uncertain

London Heathrow Airport issued this statement:

  • Close to 5.8 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in September, 15% below 2019 levels. The airport recorded the busiest summer out of any European hub airport.
  • Passenger service levels, which had been higher than any European hub between January and June, dipped at the beginning of July as passenger demand started to exceed overall capacity of the aviation ecosystem, but improved significantly after we introduced a departing passenger cap, which successfully kept supply and demand in balance.  As a result, the vast majority of passengers travelling through Heathrow this summer had a very good experience.
  • Demand outlook remains uncertain, with growing economic headwinds, a new wave of Covid and the escalating situation in Ukraine. However we expect peak days at Christmas to be very busy. Resource levels across the airport, airlines and their ground handlers have been increasing and we can now remove the cap at the end of the month. We are working with our airline partners to develop a more targeted mechanism, which protects passenger service during peak periods.
  • Our focus over the next 12 months is to get capacity, service levels and resilience back to the high levels that they were before the pandemic. This relies on having a regulatory settlement that provides enough cash flow to invest in our operations and capital projects, and to maintain an investment grade credit rating.
  • We welcome the ICAO Assembly’s landmark commitment to target net zero carbon emissions for international aviation by 2050. We have been working hard to build support for this and to ensure that the government policies are in place to support the rapid increase in production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Copyright Photo: SPA.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: 

“Heathrow has grown more in the past 12 months than any airport in Europe and we’ve delivered a great passenger experience to the vast majority of travellers. I’m proud of the way our team has worked with airlines and their ground handlers to get 18 million passengers successfully away this summer. While we face many economic headwinds, as well as the legacy of Covid, our aim is to get back to full capacity and the world class service people should expect from the UK’s hub airport as soon as possible.”


Terminal Passengers
 Sep 2022 % Change Jan to
Sep 2022
% Change Oct 2021 to
Sep 2022
% Change
UK              257 24.5            2,378 128.6            3,106 138.6
EU            2,087 78.0          15,574 285.0          18,787 258.9
Non-EU Europe              370 89.9            3,239 296.1            3,958 270.1
Africa              245 201.5            2,043 236.6            2,476 192.2
North America            1,510 279.5          11,070 658.9          12,949 637.4
Latin America              142 226.1            1,240 553.3            1,463 436.3
Middle East              616 132.6            5,003 383.2            6,268 324.5
Asia / Pacific              553 164.0            3,657 277.7            4,428 230.4
Total            5,780 124.8          44,204 335.0          53,435 301.8
Air Transport Movements  Sep 2022 % Change Jan to
Sep 2022
% Change Oct 2021 to
Sep 2022
% Change
UK            1,931 11.4          19,430 79.3          25,807 83.7
EU          15,198 52.9        121,239 186.9        151,536 162.8
Non-EU Europe            2,771 71.3          24,382 203.6          30,784 180.7
Africa            1,026 62.9            9,856 84.1          12,389 66.5
North America            6,881 108.2          54,124 141.7          66,502 127.1
Latin America              596 81.2            5,540 211.8            6,920 169.9
Middle East            2,240 37.3          18,712 64.8          24,403 57.5
Asia / Pacific            2,559 24.2          20,293 28.0          27,401 23.6
Total          33,202 56.3        273,576 132.1        345,742 116.6
(Metric Tonnes)
 Sep 2022 % Change Jan to
Sep 2022
% Change Oct 2021 to
Sep 2022
% Change
UK                  5 -75.6              101 -45.6              136 -33.8
EU            7,530 -22.2          76,892 -15.1        107,528 -7.2
Non-EU Europe            3,169 -41.3          28,753 -42.1          46,689 -30.8
Africa            5,492 7.9          61,270 9.1          82,714 3.6
North America          44,744 12.9        399,897 16.7        538,917 21.7
Latin America            3,849 69.2          30,800 96.8          38,643 47.7
Middle East          20,741 5.5        174,287 4.6        236,312 5.2
Asia / Pacific          24,569 -29.0        239,891 -16.3        355,613 -7.1
Total        110,098 -5.4     1,011,889 0.4     1,406,551 5.0


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Control Tower and Virgin Atlantic 2

Heathrow traffic and business commentary September 2014

Flights into London Heathrow Airport could be disrupted this afternoon and Monday

London Heathrow Airport issued this statement:

Out of respect for the period of mourning following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, some flights between 13:50–15:40 on Wednesday,  September 14 will be disrupted to ensure silence during the ceremonial procession.

We anticipate further changes to the Heathrow operation on Monday,  September 19, when Her Majesty’s funeral is due to take place. We will communicate more details over the coming days. We apologise for the disruption caused, as we work to limit the impact on the upcoming events.

The airport also details the impact of the Queen’s funeral:

Out of respect for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Heathrow will be making appropriate alterations to our operation throughout the period of national mourning.

Changes at the airport

On Wednesday 14th September, some flights between 13:50-15:40 will be disrupted to ensure silence over central London as the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. Passengers affected by this will be contacted by their airline.

Throughout the period of national mourning, further changes can be expected at the airport, including:

  • Observing the National Moment of Reflection with a one-minute silence at 8pm on Sunday 18 September.
  • Showing Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral on screens at the airport on Monday 19 September.

Further changes to the airport operation will be communicated in full over the coming days.

Travelling to the airport

The procession of Her Majesty the Queen’s coffin to St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Monday 19 September will impact local roads around Heathrow. Passengers travelling to the airport are advised to consider alternative routes, such as the Piccadilly or Elizabeth Lines or Heathrow Express.

Vertical Aerospace and Heathrow Airport to collaborate on future of urban air mobility

Vertical Aerospace, the global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, has announced a collaboration with Heathrow Airport to explore how Vertical’s VA-X4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle could operate from Heathrow by the mid-2020s.

The agreement between Heathrow and Vertical is a significant milestone for Britain’s zero-emissions aviation industry. Both parties will work closely to explore how this new technology can fit into existing operations at the airport, build understanding of the regulatory changes that would be required, maximize potential job opportunities and minimize any potential impacts on communities surrounding the airport.

With speeds of up to 200 mph, Vertical’s piloted eVTOL will be able to transport four passengers in near silence from Heathrow to the City of London in 12 minutes, with zero operating emissions and at a cost similar to a taxi. This new agreement comes as interest in the future of urban air mobility is growing, with major airlines already operating at Heathrow keen to see the technology develop. Virgin Atlantic has already announced a partnership for the UK launch of an eVTOL network with Vertical and conditional pre-order options for up to 150 VA-X4s.

By working together, Vertical and Heathrow expect to help Britain maintain its leading position in sustainable aviation technologies and support moves to a low carbon economy to help meet the Government’s net zero ambitions to make the UK net zero by 2050.

Vertical’s top-tier global customers include American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow Group, Iberojet and Marubeni Corporation. Through these relationships, Vertical believes that it has the largest conditional pre-order book in the eVTOL industry, of up to 1,350 aircraft worth $5.4bn. Vertical’s eVTOL aims to be an industry leader in safety, being on track to be certified to the highest global standards and matching the safety performance of airline passenger jets.

About Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Vertical’s unrivalled top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification, allow for a lean cost structure and enable production at scale. Vertical has received conditional pre-orders for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and in doing so, is creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. In June 2021, Vertical announced a SPAC merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp (NYSE: BSN).

About VA-X4 eVTOL Aircraft

The four passenger, one pilot VA-X4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VA-X4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel.

Could Heathrow Airport be at risk of collapse?

By Guest Editor Piers Moore Ede.

Here are a few key facts:

  • Heathrow is experiencing its lowest passenger numbers since the 1970s.
  • Every month saw at least an 80% fall in passenger numbers when compared to the year before.
  • Passenger traffic will not recover until 2024.
  • People have not lost their desire to travel: Tui, the world’s largest travel company, reported an increase in bookings of up to 500%. 

To read the full article from CompanyDebt: Could Heathrow be at Risk of Collapse? – Company Debt


June 18 announced as launch day for Heathrow expansion statutory consultation

London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) has made this announcement:

Heathrow has announced its statutory 12 and a half-week consultation on expansion plans will launch on the 18th of June. This step is the latest delivery milestone for the critical national infrastructure project, and the responses received will feed into a final planning application.

• Heathrow’s statutory consultation on its expansion plans will commence the 18th of June and end on the 13th of September
• New CGI imagery released to show what an expanded Heathrow could look like
• June consultation follows an extensive period of non-statutory consultation and engagement

To mark the news, the airport has released a series of new images showing a proposed new terminal forecourt, as well as a panoramic shot of a future Heathrow.

The airport’s June consultation will be its largest and most innovative engage exercise yet. Heathrow has invested in new technology to show the public its current proposals, including a model of the future airport which uses augmented reality, and a sound booth which features virtual reality to demonstrate the effect of noise insulation on properties overflown by aircraft.

Having listened to feedback from previous consultations, Heathrow will be holding events in more locations than previously and, in addition to an extensive national marketing campaign across newspapers, radio, billboards, digital and – for the first time – Spotify, will be contacting 2.6 million households directly encouraging participation.

Legal challenge dismissed as Heathrow Expansion reaches next milestone

The consultation follows the High Court’s dismissal of legal challenges against Heathrow expansion. The debate on Heathrow’s plans – and its commitments to grow sustainability – has been had and won, both in Parliament and now in the courts.

Heathrow has consistently demonstrated best practice by holding additional consultations at earlier stages of its project development to ensure feedback is incorporated in its plans, and to be as transparent as possible about its emerging proposals.

IMAGE: Architect’s impression showing a ‘third space’ concept for new terminal infrastructure at Heathrow. Third spaces will integrate public spaces and the airport, providing hybrid outdoor-indoor spaces.
Architect’s impression showing a ‘third space’ concept for new terminal infrastructure at Heathrow. Third spaces will integrate public spaces and the airport, providing hybrid outdoor-indoor spaces.

The plans revealed in this consultation include the consolidated feedback received in the Airspace and Future operations consultation that concluded in March, and previous consultations last year, as well as from Heathrow’s continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines, and other interested parties.

The upcoming consultation will seek feedback on four key areas:

  • Heathrow’s preferred masterplan for expansion: what the future layout of the airport could look like, including the runway and other airport infrastructure such as terminals and road access. The masterplan will also reveal the airport’s growth in phases – from runway opening in 2026, to the end masterplan in approximately 2050. This incremental growth in infrastructure will align more closely with forecast passenger growth, and help airport charges remain close to 2016 levels – ultimately resulting in more affordable fares for passengers;
  • Plans to operate the future airport: how the future three runway airport will be operated, including important elements such as night flights, as well as how potential additional flights before the new runway opens could be operated on our existing two runways;
  • Assessment of impacts of the airport’s growth: how the airport plans to measure the impacts of expansion on the environment and local communities;
  • Plans to manage the impacts of expansion: the airport’s plans for mitigating the effects of expansion, including property and noise compensation, a Community Compensation Fund, and measures to mitigate against air pollution and climate change.

Inviting people to participate in the consultation, Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, said:

“Heathrow’s expansion is a project of huge national and local significance, and it is critical to our country’s economic growth. An expanded hub airport will allow the country to access more of the world, create thousands of jobs locally and nationally and it will open up new trading routes. But we can’t deliver these plans alone. We urge everyone to have their say in this consultation, to shape our plans, and to help us deliver expansion in the fairest and most sustainable way.”

Heathrow’s expansion is a project of huge national and local significance, and it is critical to our country’s economic growth. An expanded hub airport will allow the country to access more of the world, create thousands of jobs locally and nationally and it will open up new trading routes. But we can’t deliver these plans alone. We urge everyone to have their say in this consultation, to shape our plans, and to help us deliver expansion in the fairest and most sustainable way.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow Executive Director for Expansion

Following the conclusion of this consultation and after feedback has been incorporated, Heathrow will submit a final proposal to the Planning Inspectorate in 2020, kickstarting an 18-month approvals process. The decision on whether to grant the DCO will be made by the Secretary of State following a public examination period led by the Planning Inspectorate.

Architect’s impression of the airport’s preferred masterplan for expansion, showing what Heathrow could look like by 2050, with three runways and expanded airport infrastructure.

British Airways announces a new Boeing 787-9 route to San Jose, California

British Airways (London) has announced that it will begin service between Mineta San Jose International Airport and London Heathrow Airport from May 4, 2016. This marks the first regularly scheduled nonstop service to the UK for the city of San Jose. British Airways will operate the newest aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring the airline’s newly designed First cabin.

British Airways logo

San Jose will be the fourth Californian city from which British Airways flies, following Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Earlier this year British Airways introduced its super jumbo Airbus A380 onto San Francisco, providing customers with comfort, space and enhanced wellbeing for their trip to London.


Flight BA279 will touch down in San Jose for the first time at 6:05 pm in the evening of May 4, 2016 and BA278 will depart San Jose at 8:00 pm the same evening, arriving into London Heathrow Terminal 5 at 2:05 pm the next day.


The airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner will accommodate eight customers in the new First cabin, 42 seats in Club World, 39 in World Traveller Plus and 127 in World Traveller. Lower pressurization means less dry cabin air, leaving customers feeling more refreshed with less jet lag while the aircraft’s smooth ride technology reduces the effect of turbulence. Soothing mood lighting in every cabin gradually adjusts to reflect the time of day and the large windows feature electronic dimming switches.

The 787-9, the first of which is due to be delivered to British Airways in September, is 20 feet longer that its 787-8 predecessor, so as well as offering World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and Club World (business class), there’s also room for a new First class cabin – a first for the airline’s 787 fleet.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com.

British Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Visit our new look


Emirates to make London Gatwick an all-Airbus A380 destination

Emirates (Dubai) is moving to a triple-daily all-Airbus A380 scheduled operation at London’s Gatwick Airport starting on January 1, 2016. The third daily A380 roundtrip flight will replace the lone existing Boeing 777-300 ER flight according to Airline Route.

The carrier dominates the Dubai – London market with five additional daily Airbus A380 flights to Dubai from nearby London Heathrow Airport. This is a total of eight daily Airbus A380 roundtrip flights in one market.


Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDW (msn 103) with special “Rugby World Cup – England 2015” markings taxies at London (Heathrow).

Emirates aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG A new gallery added

London ATC goes down temporarily

LHR (9-04)(Aerial)(KDB)(LRW)

Dozens of flights to and from Heathrow airport were delayed or cancelled due to a power outage at air traffic control, European air traffic control authority Eurocontrol said on Friday. London airspace was briefly closed.

Heathrow, which is the UK’s busiest airport, reported earlier: “There is a power outage at the NATS control center in Swanwick which is affecting UK airspace.”

“Flights are currently experiencing delays. We will update passengers as soon as we have more information.”

London Gatwick, Stansted and Luton Airports are accepting arrivals but have suspended departures.

A number of flights were held over the English Channel.

Manchester Airport meanwhile says it is unaffected by the airspace closure and claims it is ready to accept any London bound diverted flights..

London airspace has been effectively closed until 7pm due to a power outage at a control centre.

People travelling have been warned to expect severe delays.

NATs have said: “We can confirm that a technical problem has been reported at Swanwick air traffic control centre. We apologise for any delays and our incident response team has been mobilised. Every possible action is being taken to assist in resolving the situation and to confirm the details. Further information will be released as it becomes available.”

The state-of-the art centre at Swanwick has been subject to a number of computer glitches since Nats moved there from its old headquarters in West Drayton in west London in the early part of the last decade.

One of the worst problems was a year ago – on Saturday December 7 2013 – when thousands of passengers were left stranded when hundreds of flights were grounded following a technical fault at the Hampshire centre.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. An aerial photo of London Heathrow Airport.

Bottom Image: SPA. A rare radar image – no flights airborne over the London area during the ground stop.

London Radar