Long queues at Heathrow have been criticised by the boss of British Airways, saying arriving passengers face two-hour waits to get through border control.

The Heathrow-based carrier’s chief executive and chairman Alex Cruz has written a letter to The Times today calling on the Home Office to act to prevent long queues building up on arrival at the airport.

Queues at the London hub are “significantly worse” than other major hubs across the world.

The letter is in response to proposals for “UK-only” lines after Brexit.

Cruz said that was a matter for government, but its priority should be preventing long queues now.

He called on home secretary Sajid Javid to “take immediate action to address this border farce”.

Cruz said the target wait for travellers coming into Heathrow from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) was 45 minutes – but two hours was “fast becoming the norm”.

He said the target was missed 8,298 times last year and the number had already reached more than 6,000 for 2018.

He also said that those from within the EEA wait almost an hour.

“This is unacceptable,” said Cruz – quoting the head of the UK’s Border Force, Nick Jariwalla, as saying it was unlikely to change, or for his teams to meet their targets.

Cruz added: “What kind of message does this send as we try to build links outside the EU?

“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.”