The owners of Heathrow Airport have been slammed by Willie Walsh; the boss of British Airways over the increase in fees which the airline boss is claiming is hurting his airlines profits.
The Chief executive of British Airways has put the blame of his airline going into the red at the door of Heathrow Airport, saying the increase in fees were over the top and should be slashed immediately.
Regulators gave Heathrow airport the go ahead to increase fees by inflation plus 7.5% last year which British Airways and other airlines have claimed could put jobs at risk. Airlines that use Heathrow Airport are concerned that the charges could increase further under a new regulatory deal which is due to come in force next year.
Airlines are already worried about the high fuel costs and the troubled economy which is reducing the number of people who have spare money to travel abroad and now airlines are concerned that the increase in fees at Heathrow Airport could put some airlines in serious financial trouble.
Willie Walsh said: “Heathrow Airport has been overly well rewarded and it needs to be corrected. Charges can be reduced and performance improved.
“This is ignoring the reality of an airline industry that has struggled for profitability. We have to get real here – everyone in the industry is saying the same.”
The owners of Heathrow Airport who plan to invest £3billion between 2014 and 2019 are set to anger airlines even more after they have asked the Civil Aviation Authority to grant them permission to raise airline charges even more. The airport wants to increase charges per passenger by a massive 41% from £19.33 in 2012/13 to £27.30 in 2018/19.
If the airport is allowed to increase the fees then this could force passengers who will have to foot the bill to choose other airports to fly from to get a better deal, which some travel experts believe will in the end reduce profits for Heathrow Airport with some airlines being forced to move to other airports, as well as the reduced number of passengers using the airport which means less people spending in the airport shops.
By Diane Walker