Two Air Malta flights from Heathrow have been impacted so far after London's largest airport this week told airlines to stop selling summer tickets. 

The two flights will have to leave an hour earlier but more changes could be announced in the coming days.  

The London airport has been struggling to cope with a rebound in air travel and has limited the number of passengers who can depart each day over the peak summer months to 100,000, 4,000 fewer than currently scheduled.

The cap on passenger numbers will be in place until the first week of September.

Last month, Air Malta passengers at the airport were left without their luggage after a technical malfunction with the airport's baggage system.

The two impacted flights

Replying to questions, an Air Malta spokesperson said the airline had been advised that its afternoon flight KM103 cannot depart London Heathrow at its usual time of 7.30 pm on Saturday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 20.

The two flights, along with the associated KM102, Malta to London Heathrow flight, will instead operate one hour earlier than previously planned on both dates. 

All other Air Malta flights on London Heathrow are expected to operate as per the published schedule, the airline said. 

Air Malta operates 15 services between Malta and London Heathrow every week, with advance booked loads for the July and August period already above 90%. 

Further schedule adjustments are expected to be communicated in the coming weeks, the airline told Times of Malta. 

“These enforced changes require airlines to immediately stop selling seats for all flights departing London Heathrow during this period and in addition, airlines have been tasked to cancel specific flights on specific dates of departure,” Air Malta said. 

Heathrow Airport has apologised to passengers caught up in recent travel chaos but warned that more flights could be cancelled.

Airports and airlines have struggled to recruit staff after shedding jobs during Covid lockdowns as holiday demand has returned.

The UK, Malta’s main tourism market, is about to enter the key summer holiday season as schools begin to start the summer recess. 

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