Despite the praise from Heathrow's Board of Directors last Thursday, Holland Cay faced a barrage of criticism over the airport's operation during the pandemic and, in particular, Heathrow's apparent inability to cope with the influx of passengers after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of borders.
Critics say Holland Cay has been overly pessimistic about the short-to-medium term for the aviation industry and has cut too many jobs in the midst of the pandemic. As a result, Heathrow almost collapsed as tens of thousands of passengers tried to get back into the sky.
Heathrow's human resource problems culminated in its spectacular showdown with Emirates when the airport tried to force airlines to cut passenger numbers last summer. management who the airline claims caused chaos in the schedule with their “incompetence and inaction”.
Emirates initially rejected Heathrow's request to reduce passenger traffic, although a compromise was eventually reached. However, to do this, Holland Cay himself had to join the negotiations.
In the following weeks and months, Heathrow tried to “rewrite history”, stating that the protracted reduction in — the result of airlines' inability to hire enough personnel. And for this, of course, the airport is not responsible.
Late last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) leadership refrained from calling for Holland Cay's resignation, while noting that travelers should have no sympathy for him and that “heads should roll” if the chaos in travel repeats during the Christmas period. holidays.
Christmas passed without incident, and in accepting Holland Cay's resignation, the Heathrow Board of Directors ignored the airport's recent history.
“John was an outstanding leader of Heathrow. For the past nine years he has worked tirelessly in partnership with shareholders, ministers, airlines and other stakeholders to make the country proud of its 'front door'.
“The Board would like to formally express our gratitude to John for his devotion to Heathrow throughout his tenure.
Holland-Kay himself has repeatedly defended his contribution to the common cause, arguing that Heathrow's success in regaining the crown of Europe's busiest airport is not accidental.< /p>
What the former chief executive will do after his resignation is not reported.