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25 OCTOBER 2021

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Article from BTNews 25 OCTOBER 2021

CAA and Heathrow charges

Heathrow’s plans announced last week to almost double the passenger charges to try and mitigate its losses during the pandemic have been initially rejected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the industry regulator.

A final decision will be made next year which will then be open to appeal by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The CAA said, in a consultation document on Tuesday, that the London hub could only increase its average charges from a maximum of £22 per passenger currently to between £24.50 and £34.40 from next year.

Heathrow bosses had been asking the charges to maximise at £43, allowing it to start clawing back £2.9bn of losses incurred since the collapse in passenger traffic from spring last year.

However, trade body Airlines UK has reacted angrily, with Chief Executive Tim Alderslade saying it would oppose the increase "in the strongest terms.  

“The CAA is our last line of defence against a monopoly-abusing hub airport," he said.  “Monopolies will always try it on and that's why we need a strong regulator to clamp down on what is blatant gouging. How on earth can it be in the interests of consumers to ramp up charges by as much as 50%?

"Passengers need to be front and centre here – it's Heathrow's shareholders and not our customers who should be asked to foot the bill."

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "Our aim is to reach a settlement that enables us to give passengers a great service while operating a safe, resilient and competitive hub airport for Britain.”

www.heathrow.com

https://airlinesuk.org

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