8 FEBRUARY 2021
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
The public could suffer when a row between Heathrow Airport and its customers is resolved The Times reports.
Heathrow has asked the regulator for a one-off £1.7bn increase in charges from airlines that use the hub. Any direct support from the Government it gets is very limited.
The International Airlines Group (IAG) is angry at the proposal. The British Airways owner accounts for more than half the flights at the airport.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has further complicated the row over whether the airport should be bailed out by airlines in delaying consultation. It noted last week that it was minded to reject the size of Heathrow’s demand, but had extended a consultation by one month to see if it could come up with a solution.
“Heathrow’s proposals are not in the best interests of consumers,” Paul Smith, director of the authority, said. “Although we propose to reject its disproportionate request, we are issuing a final consultation on whether a more limited and targeted intervention is warranted.”
The IAG view is very clear arguing that in recent years Heathrow had paid £4bn in dividends to its shareholders, which include the gas-rich state of Qatar and the sovereign wealth fund of China.
“It’s not fair nor reasonable to ask consumers to bail out Heathrow,” the airline group said. “It’s a wealthy, privately owned company which should seek funds from its shareholders, as many other businesses in our industry have done to weather this pandemic.”
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
John Richmond, Lochwinnoch
I don't agree. Once the pandemic is over the travel industry will be fihting for business and that means fases will go down.
Enough of this obsession with Heathrow! The majority of the UK population is closer to other airports that do not make such extravagant demands. Heathrow will not sink without a bailout. It may just have to be a bit more competitive instead of continually implying that it is the only 'serious' UK airport for long-haul travel. Before Covid, Manchester actually had more direct destinations!
James Smith, london
This country can’t be that bad that all these overseas people invest in the UK. But surely our major gateway airport, and for that matter BRITISH Airways should be owned by Brits.
John Jones, West Ham
There can be little doubt that the era of cheap travel is gone for ever. Oz and back for £750, or less forget about.