Many major European airports take their curfews very seriously, whereby flights can’t land or takeoff in the “overnight” hours. While the exact times vary by airport, it’s in stark contrast to the Middle East and Asia, where the overnight hours are often the busiest.
This brings us to my favorite guy in the airline industry, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. He sits on the Heathrow Airport executive board representing the second biggest shareholder, and has been advocating for Heathrow to become a 24-hour airport.
Selfishly I’d love for that to happen. I know I’m probably in the minority, but I’d love to see westbound transatlantic redeyes between Europe and the US. Leaving London at 2AM and arriving in Miami at 6AM sounds downright lovely to me, but again, I realize I’m probably in the minority.
The only transatlantic westbound redeyes between Europe and North America that I know of are operated by Aeromexico, Iberia, and Lufthansa, into Mexico City. I’ve always wanted to take that Lufthansa flight — have dinner, sleep for 10 hours, have breakfast, and wake up refreshed on another continent? Works for me!
So while I think there’s some merit to Heathrow going 24 hours, what I love is Al-Baker’s justification. Via the Surrey Comet, he’s quoted as saying:
“The thing that is impending Europe’s growth is that airports are locked up from 11pm until 5.30am, which is a very, very critical time for east-west transfer.
“If you live under the flight path of an airport, I assure you, over a period of time you will not even hear the aircraft passing over your house.”
If that doesn’t convince them I don’t know what will. 😉
Aside from the ridiculousness of Al-Baker’s comments, how do you feel about curfews at European airports? Logical and necessary, or kind of ridiculous in the 21st century?