Airlines have spoken of ‘unacceptable’ delays as waiting times at Heathrow’s passport control desks have risen to over two hours.

Figures obtained by Virgin Atlantic show that some passengers are being made to queue for up to two hours and thirty six minutes. The airline’s Chief Executive Craig Kreeger said today: “This summer significant queues at Border Control mean that thousands of visitors have faced two-hour queues to get their passports checked, leaving them frustrated before they’ve even started their trip but only the Border Force can resolve these unacceptable queue times and they must take action.

“We all agree that security and safety at our airports is vital and remains our top priority, but other countries are managing their borders more effectively. At a time when the UK needs to show the world it is open for business, the Government and Border Force need to provide a great first impression, for every visitor, every time.”

British Airways’ CEO Alex Cruz penned an open letter to The Times last week in which he criticised waiting times at Heathrow and called on the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to take action. “What kind of message does this send as we try to build links outside the EU? he wrote. “We need more than UK-only lanes to show Britain is open for business, and that includes Sajid Javid taking immediate action to address this border farce once and for all.”