Why one of Europe’s top airports has become a ‘crazy mess’
Pilot and co-founder of the EasyJet group, Brian Krzanich, has been through every nook and cranny of the British Airways Airbus A380, its engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and its staff since it was launched 12
With more than 170,000 passengers landing at Heathrow each day, John Hemming is used to chaos. But after a particularly bad day yesterday, he was “completely freaked” with what he had just experienced.
Heathrow was, in his words, “a totally insane day.” The airport was operating only 20 per cent of its usual operations.
Not only was the security regime for passengers on the run-up to Christmas not as strict as usual, but planes were being diverted from their scheduled arrival times to make up for the poor performance.
“As far as I could determine, the Heathrow ops team was struggling to keep up with passengers, and the airport’s own people in charge were not able to understand the situation,” he said. “All I could do was wait for something to happen. Eventually, the weather situation dictated that I couldn’t continue waiting for the weather to improve.”
A week ago, he told BBC News Online he had “lost every job I’m responsible for” on a plane carrying 60 people.
This morning, that problem with airport staff seems to have been swept under the carpet of corporate restructuring at the carrier.
Heathrow was in the news again today – as one of its key workers told Sky News he was “freaking out” over the recent events.
“I got stuck at Heathrow today,” said Tom Wright, vice-president of the Heathrow operations management team at Boeing.
“I was actually waiting in the stand for the last bit of aircraft that was allowed to fly in and when the doors opened to disembark, I got stuck in front of me.
“We had been expecting another two hours of flight time, but then I was informed that they had been diverted to run their late departures and they were now flying in less than an hour behind schedule.
“Normally they would take off around 0915 [local time] so that they could get from Heathrow into Gatwick and back in less than four and a bit hours. This morning, we were going to have to run their late flight and they only flew in at 0820