Airport charges are once again at the center of the debate. Heathrow , the main airport in London , has put on the table a rise in costs that has put all airlines on guard even though it still needs to be negotiated. One of the most affected companies is IAG , parent company of brands such as British Airways, Aer Lingus or Iberia, which has more than 55% of the slots that are operated weekly in this infrastructure of which the Spanish Ferrovial is a shareholder.
The proposed rates for this infrastructure from next summer includes, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority , the possibility of increasing them by up to 56% by 2023 while trying to recoup the losses caused by the pandemic.
As of today, the airport charges a tax of 22 pounds per passenger, but the CAA has announced that it will increase the tax limit to a provisional rate of 30 pounds next summer. Now the regulator has launched a consultation process to consider a range of fees ranging from £ 24.5 to £ 34.4.
This increase has caused airlines to speak out about what they consider to be a mistake. ” International connectivity is vital to the UK’s economic recovery. The aviation industry supports 1.5 million British jobs and accounts for 4.5% of Britain’s GDP . Heathrow is already the most expensive central airport The disproportionate increase compared to other European hubs will further undermine their competitiveness and British consumers will lose out, “says Luis Gallego, president of IAG.
This same view is shared by Willie Walsh, CEO of IATA , who notes that “it is disappointing that the CAA has opened the door to a potentially large escalation of Heathrow rates.” “It is essential that the CAA show that it has not been misled by Heathrow into accepting their outrageous demands,” he argues. “We urge you to set the lowest rate possible and to prevent a monopoly from defrauding the consumer and damaging the competitiveness of aviation at a crucial time for the recovery of employment and connectivity,” he concludes.
“Heathrow’s proposed rate hike will hurt economic recovery”
“Abusing its unique position as the UK’s sole hub airport, Heathrow’s proposed rate hike will hurt the UK’s economic recovery and unfairly hit the pockets of families and businesses across the nation,” said Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic.
“The CAA is our last line of defense against an airport that abuses the monopoly. The monopolies will always try and that is why we need a strong regulator that cracks down on what is blatant speculation,” admits Tim Alderslade, CEO. from Airlines UK.