The latest news and developments at London Heathrow airport which is home to airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Delta, United, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, KLM, Eurowings, Swiss, KLM and Air France.
The cost of flying from Heathrow is set to fall as the Civil Aviation Authority is to force the airport to cut passenger charges.
The CAA has set out its proposals on Heathrow’s passenger charges for its next five year control period from January 2022 to December 2026, known as H7.
The last control period expired on 31 December 2021. Late last year, the CAA allowed an interim increase of Heathrow’s maximum passenger charge from £19.36 to £30.19. This was a substantially larger increase than any other major European airport.
Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines and Ural Airlines are all subject to asset freezes in the UK. They are prohibited from selling or leasing their UK airport slots. This follows previous measures prohibiting Russian aircraft from entering UK airspace.
Airport Coordination Ltd, the body responsible for allocating slots at Heathrow has today, 26 May 2022, published guidance on how this will work in practice.
On Monday 1 November 2021 London Heathrow Airport will introduce a £5 charge for all vehicles dropping off departing passengers at its terminal forecourts.
This will apply to all vehicles, including private hire cars. There are limited exemptions and discounts for Blue Badge holders, emergency vehicles, motorbikes, coaches and staff buses.
Black cab taxis registered with London Taxi and Private Hire will benefit from a 100% discount until 1 April 2022 to allow Transport for London to consult on changes to meter charges. Private Hire Vehicles do not benefit from this discount.
The charge will apply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are no given times or circumstances where it will be waived for all passengers.
London Heathrow Terminal 3 will reopen on Tuesday 1 June 2021 with a dedicated arrivals facility for passengers arriving from countries the UK government has placed on its “redlist”.
This follows criticism that passengers arriving from “amber” and “green” countries have faced long queues at the UK border and have consequently spent a long time in close proximity to passengers from “red” countries who are required to quarantine on arrival at a dedicated facility.
Terminal 3, along with Terminal 4, closed to passenger flights over a year ago as Heathrow Airport progressively consolidated all airlines at Terminals 2 and 5 in response to COVID-19.
It is planned that the dedicated arrivals facility will transfer to Terminal 4 as soon as practicable. This should then allow Terminal 3 to fully reopen to passenger flights so that airlines such as Delta and Virgin Atlantic can transfer all their flights back to Terminal 3.
At the time of publication there has been no comment from individual airlines as to how the new arrangement will work. It’s not clear whether aircraft will continue to arrive at Terminals 2 and 5, with passengers bussed to Terminal 3 to clear the UK border.
The dedicated arrivals facility will only apply to flights direct from “red list” countries, and not to passengers who have travelled indirectly via amber / green countries.
Passengers due to arrive from “red list” countries from 1 June 2021 are advised to check the latest guidance from Heathrow and the status of their bookings with their airline.
easyJet and JetBlue have both been unsuccessful in applying for slots at London Heathrow for the summer 2021 season.
easyJet and JetBlue had applied for 98 and 42 weekly slots respectively from the pool at Heathrow and none were awarded.
They were far from alone. Each season a large number of airlines apply to Airport Coordination Ltd for slots from a pool of available slots. Almost all get nothing. Slots from the pool are very hard to come by as they only become available when forfeited or handed back by an airline, which most go to great lengths to avoid.
Other airlines that were unsuccessful in applying for slots include Air Baltic, Alitalia Cityliner, Blue Air, Brussels Airlines, Eastern Airways, Loganair, WestJet and Widereo. Unsurprisingly, Norwegian did not apply for any slots at London Heathrow this summer. Only Shenzhen Airlines managed to secure a mere 4 weekly slots.
That does not mean that any of these airlines won’t serve Heathrow this summer. Blue Air will fly from London Heathrow to Bucharest from 1 December 2020 and Cluj-Napoca from 1 March 2021.
Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines are to temporarily relocate to London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Both airlines had temporarily relocated to Terminal 2 due to the closure of Terminals 3 and 4.
They will now move to Terminal 5 from Monday 27 and Wednesday 29 July 2020 respectively where they will join fellow Oneworld alliance members American Airlines, BA and Iberia.
Note that at the time of publication, this is not reflected in all online timetables.
It may seem odd these airlines are moving terminals twice due to COVID-19, this is most likely due to systems issues at Terminal 5 which were originally designed for BA.
Although not confirmed, timetables indicate that Finnair will relocate to Terminal 5 from Saturday 15 August.
In terms of other Oneworld alliance members, Cathay Pacific, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, Royal Air Maroc and SriLankan Airlines remain at Terminal 2, to the extent they are operating international flights from London Heathrow.
Currently, Heathrow airport does not expect Terminal 3 to reopen until late 2020 at the earliest. This will depend on how demand recovers in the autumn. Terminal 4 is not expected to reopen until 2021 at the earliest.