British Airways boss says two-hour Heathrow passport queues unacceptable

British Airways logos are seen on tail fins at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)
Updated 06 August 2018

British Airways boss says two-hour Heathrow passport queues unacceptable

  • BA boss said that queues at border controls at Heathrow were significantly worse than at other major world airports
  • British Airways is owned by IAG, the airline group which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling

LONDON: Two hour-long queues for passport checks at London’s Heathrow Airport are unacceptable and improvements are needed if Britain wants to show it is open for business after it leaves the European Union, the chief executive of British Airways said.
In a letter to The Times newspaper on Monday, BA boss Alex Cruz said that queues at border controls at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, were significantly worse than at other major world airports.
“What kind of message does this send, as we try to build links outside the EU?,” Cruz wrote.
He called on interior minister Sajid Javid to take “immediate action to address this border farce.”
His intervention came after reports that Britain was considering setting up designated lanes for British passport holders at UK airports after Britain leaves the EU on March 29 next year.
Two-hour queues have become normal at Heathrow for those visiting Britain from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), Cruz said, despite a target that the waiting time should be no more than 45 minutes. EEA citizens wait almost an hour, he added.
British Airways is owned by IAG, the airline group which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling.


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 16 September 2019

Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.