British carriers wary of Olympic travel chaos

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Car Rental News - 19/03/2012


Top UK carriers are asking the government to take action to ensure smooth travel during this summer’s Olympics.

A letter issued to ministers on Saturday by Britain’s four largest airlines – British Airways, easyJet, BMI and Virgin Atlantic – said that more needed to be done in order to prevent severe disruptions during and leading up to the two-week event, set to take place from 27 July to 12 August.

Officials from the top carriers said that the additional push was needed because any issues created by bad weather or security problems could cause “travel chaos” at London’s airports, particularly at overcrowded Heathrow. The letter said that not enacting such plans would be both “foolhardy” and “reckless” and could cause “significant damage” to the UK aviation industry’s reputation.

The airlines have outlined specific measures in the letter, including changing standard ATC protocol in which scheduled airline flights get landing priority over business jets, private planes and chartered aircraft.

The move comes just days before top industry executives are set to meet on Thursday with government heads and the Department for Transport.

DfT officials have since responded by saying the agency was confident that airlines’ concerns had been addressed via a “range of special measures” that it will present on Thursday.

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