LONDON (Reuters) – Passengers arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport needed to queue at passport management for as much as two-and-a-half hours in July, official figures confirmed, sparking additional criticism from aviation chiefs about delays brought on by Britain’s border regime.
FILE PHOTO: UK Border management is seen in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London June four, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo
The Border Force missed its 45-minute or much less goal for passport test wait occasions for 95 % of tourists from exterior the European Economic Area (EEA) on all however someday final month, in keeping with the info obtained by UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic.
Queues have been longest on July 6 when non-EEA guests needed to watch for as much as two hours and 36 minutes at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport.
The boss of Virgin Atlantic known as the queue occasions “unacceptable”, including to criticism from the chief government of British Airways (ICAG.L), who stated final week that Heathrow’s queues have been worse than at different main world airport.
“We all agree that security and safety at our airports is vital and remains our top priority, but other countries are managing their borders more effectively,” Virgin Atlantic’s chief government Craig Kreeger stated in a press release on Monday.
Britain’s inside ministry, answerable for Border Force operations, stated it was deploying 200 further workers at Heathrow this summer time, who would all be in place throughout peak travel intervals in August and September.
It stated in a press release that it could not compromise on border checks and was working to scale back ready occasions.
Heathrow Airport’s chief government John Holland-Kaye final week known as on the Home Office to let guests from low threat international locations such because the U.S. use the digital passport gates which presently are solely open to EEA guests.
Reporting by Sarah Young; modifying by Michael Holden