Cargo capacity on aircraft could be reduced permanently if recently introduced restrictions on passenger hand luggage remain in force.
Passengers were forced to put hand baggage in the hold as a result of restrictions introduced to meet the terrorist alarm in August. There is now concern that this could become permanent although the Department for Transport said no decision has yet been made.
Karen Kerslake of Virgin said: “Its too early to say in percentage terms how the new regulations will affect us financially. Obviously revenues will be affected owing to the slight reduction in cargo capacity. However we are doing everything we can to maximise cargo uplift where possible, so the impact to the bottom line will hopefully be minimal from a cargo perspective.”
Andrew Southey, British Airway’s global products commercial manager, said that belly-hold capacities on long-haul flights were already open to wide variations in weight allowance. For example, in very hot weather, air density could restrict capacity and average passenger weight could differ from destination to destination.