Heathrow Airport ready for ‘successful Easter getaway’ after chaos of 2022

File photo dated 23/04/22 of passengers queuing to go through security in departures at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport, west London. Workers at the airport are to vote on whether to strike in a dispute over pay. Unite said over 3,000 of its members working as security guards, engineers and firefighters will begin balloting for strike action on February 17. Issue date: Sunday February 12, 2023.
Passengers queuing to go through security in departures at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport Credit: PA

Heathrow has sought to reassure families it is prepared for a “successful Easter getaway” after many saw their holiday plans ruined a year ago. The west London airport said overall passenger satisfaction is “close to pre-pandemic levels”. The punctuality of departing flights in February was “the most consistent it has been in the last 12 months”, while more than 98% of passengers passed through security in under 10 minutes for the second month in a row, according to Heathrow. A failure to recruit and train enough staff to cope with the surge in demand for travel led to chaotic scenes at UK airports during Easter 2022, with long queues and more than 100 flights a day cancelled. Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “The February half-term went very smoothly, thanks to a great plan and teamwork across the airport.

“This should give everyone confidence that we are prepared for a successful Easter getaway.”

A British Airways Airbus A380-841 as it takes off from Heathrow Airport Credit: PA

The last day of term before the two-week Easter break for many schools in Britain is March 31. Last month, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 recorded its busiest day since before the coronavirus pandemic. The airport said more than 94,000 passengers used the terminal on February 26. That was its busiest day since December 20 2019, before the virus crisis began.

A total of 5.2 million passengers travelled through Heathrow last month, up from 2.9 million in February 2022. The increase was partly driven by the number of people on flights to and from east Asia being eight times higher than a year ago as coronavirus restrictions in the region were eased. The most popular holiday destinations served from the UK’s busiest airport last month were Dubai, New York and Madrid.

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