Great Britain
This article was added by the user Anna. TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Heathrow passenger fees to surge by 36 per cent from January

Airport fees for passengers departing from Heathrow are set to rise way ahead of inflation, with the current £22 per person charge rising to £30 on New Year’s Day.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has raised its cap on passenger fees by 36 per cent while it conducts a consultation on the rates that should apply in the five-year spell from summer 2022.

For decades Heathrow was by far the busiest airport in Europe. Passenger demand was so strong that, on a purely commercial basis, charges could have reached £50 or more per passenger.

To prevent fees rising way beyond any other airport and inflating the cost of flying, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) capped the amount Heathrow can charge.

But as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and government travel restrictions, the airport has slipped way down the European league. Heathrow is now struggling for a top 10 place, while its traditional continental rivals – Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle – are rebounding much faster, with Istanbul’s new airport taking top spot by a wide margin.

By July 2021, Heathrow’s cumulative losses during the pandemic had grown to £2.9bn. The airport’s owners had hoped fees could almost double to help it recover financially.

Heathrow asked the CAA increase the cap on its charges per passenger to between £32 and £43 – representing a rise in the range of 45 to 95 per cent.

In response, the CAA says it is looking at a range of £24.50 to £34.40, equating to 11 to 56 per cent. The £30 fee from New Year’s day is an interim measure to enable Heathrow to start to reduce its losses. The final charge could be the same, higher or lower.

The CAA’s chief executive, Richard Moriarty, said: “While international air travel is still recovering, setting a price control for Heathrow airport against the backdrop of so much uncertainty means we have had to adapt our approach.

“Our principal objective is to further the interests of consumers while recognising the challenges the industry has faced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These initial proposals seek to protect consumers against unfair charges, and will allow Heathrow to continue to appropriately invest in keeping the airport resilient, efficient and one that provides a good experience for passengers.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders as we refine this package of measures in the coming months, before setting out our final proposals next year.”

In response, a Heathrow spokesperson told The Independent: “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.

“That Heathrow is ranked by passengers as one of the best airports in the world is testament to the power of private investment over the past decade, and to enable this to continue, we believe the settlement should safeguard a fair return for investors.

“We provide great value for money, which is why airlines generate premium profit margins on their services from our world-class facilities.

“While it is right the CAA protect consumers against excessive profits and waste, the settlement is not designed to shield airlines from legitimate cost increases or the impacts of fewer people travelling.

“We look forward to discussing the CAA’s proposals in detail with the regulator and our airline partners as we work towards a new settlement.”

The Independent has asked the main airline at Heathrow, British Airways, for a response.