Heathrow urges passengers to continue to book flights despite no-deal fears

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    Heathrow Airport has insisted passengers can “book with confidence” as it prepares for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

    Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said it is “four or five months since we started switching on to no deal” and businesses must “plan for a worst case in this kind of situation”.

    He told the Press Association: “We have a good contingency plan. The Government has worked well with the EU to make sure planes will fly, so passengers can book with confidence.

    “We’ve been making sure that we can keep the airport running smoothly.”

    We have a really good plan

    Heathrow has been stockpiling supplies of items it needs to ensure passengers can continue to move through the airport.

    “Anything from engineering parts to keep the baggage systems running to the rubber gloves that security officers wear to keep them safe while they’re patting you down,” Mr Holland-Kaye said.

    “We have a really good plan there.”

    The airport is also preparing for an increase in cargo amid growing concern there could be long queues at sea ports due to increased checks.

    Mr Holland-Kaye said: “If there is a change in cargo patterns – for example, planes from Europe coming in with more cargo in the event that the sea ports are busy or the tunnel is busy – then we can accommodate that.”

    Some 80.1 million passengers used Heathrow in 2018, up 2.7% on the previous year

    The airport says the increase was due to planes operating with fewer empty seats, rather than a 0.4% increase in flights to 472,744.

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