‘Airports love disruptions’ said an ex-Heathrow executive in an informal chat. They surely do, judging by recently announced 22% increase in nine months profit of the world’s most constrained airport. Heathrow success increasingly depends on retail revenue stimulated by the increase in length of dwell time that disrupted passengers spend at the airport. But how much they could possibly earn from increased disruptions? The following chart published by Airport Watch UK (with added comment) could provide some answers.
Heathrow has enjoyed the freedom of disrespecting its runway limitations for years, letting in more flights than it could decently handle. This freedom has stretched to reporting which doesn’t agree much with common sense and passenger experience – its public reports on delays (published by CAA) indicate that airport punctuality gets better with the increase in airport (over)congestion:
This year Heathrow won the title of ‘Best Airport over 25 million passengers’ awarded by Airport Council International (ACI) Europe – not for the quality of service but for retail as the most valued criteria. So, more disruptions are on the way. Undercover or not, they will make air travel through Heathrow less convenient and more costly and will last as long as airlines and passengers continue to stretch their threshold of tolerance.