Bosses at Heathrow are being instructed to reduce the number of seats sold on aircrafts instead of cancelling journeys altogether, reports suggest.
Executives discussed the idea to help quell the volume of travellers at a virtual meeting on Thursday, the Telegraph suggests.
By capping the number of people on flights, things will run more smoothly on the ground, it is hoped.
It is part of the airport’s bid to reduce the risk of delay and cancellations ahead of the school summer holiday get-away.
Heathrow want no more than 100,000 departing passengers to pass through their doors each day until mid September.
The decision is expected to still result in the cancellation of over 1,000 flights this summer, MailOnline report.
By kicking passengers off their flights, Heathrow believe they can bring numbers down by around 4,000.
This week, the Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority chiefs wrote a joint letter to the airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye demanding he provides a ‘credible’ recovery plan.
They want the airport to return to to operating ‘reliably’ at a ‘stable level of capacity’.
Both organisations also want to know why the airport believes a cap on visitors ‘provides a safe and resilient airport with a positive passenger experience’.
It was the transport hub – the seventh busiest airport in Britain – with the longest average wait in the UK last year, data has shown.
Departures from the West Midlands airport were an average of 12 minutes and 24 seconds late taking-off in 2021, according to analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data.
Southampton Airport had the second poorest record, followed by Heathrow, Exeter and Aberdeen airports.
The ranking takes into account all scheduled and chartered departures.
Cancelled flights were not included in the investigation carried out by PA Media.
Birmingham Airport stressed that many of its delayed departures were able to make up time in the air because of the huge reduction in flight numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman said: “Last year was a dark time for aviation when Birmingham Airport was reduced to just 25% of normal resource and capacity due to Covid.
“Due to the unique operating environment caused by massive air traffic reductions, the usual pressures did not exist, so flights taking off late were able to catch up en route.”