Heathrow charge increase

Passengers using Heathrow face a rise in ticket prices under a £3 billion investment plan proposed today by the airport's bosses.

Airlines oppose Heathrow price hike

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have both voiced opposition to the proposed increase in charges. Credit: ITN

Virgin Atlantic chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said: "We are totally committed to improving the passenger experience at Heathrow. However, we believe this can be done without a repeat of the incredibly steep price rises we have seen in airport charges in the last few years.

"Prices at Heathrow are triple the level they were 10 years ago. Clearly this is a concern for all passengers travelling through Heathrow, and all airlines operating there.

"In the current economic climate other businesses, in private and public sectors and especially airlines, are making savings and delivering on less money.

"Airports should not be exempt from that and we call upon the CAA to use its regulatory powers to ensure there is a real-terms reduction in charges applied to each passenger."

A spokesman for British Airways said: "Heathrow Airport's charges have already tripled over the past 11 years. The charges must be reduced significantly over the coming years, especially when the airport is cutting investment by around 25% from next year onwards.

"We hope the regulator (the CAA) will give a fair ruling in the months ahead, which doesn't penalise customers and airlines.

"Any investment plans between 2014 and 2019 should be targeted and efficient. We believe Heathrow can make significant savings to its inefficient cost base while still investing #3 billion in improving the overall customer experience."

Heathrow boss: plan is 'good value for money'

"Heathrow is the UK's only hub airport and a strategically important national infrastructure asset. Heathrow faces stiff competition from other European hubs and we must continue to improve the service we offer passengers and airlines.

"We have invested billions of pounds in new facilities such as Terminal 5 (T5) in recent years and passengers say they have noticed the difference. Our plan for a further £3 billion of private-sector investment will further improve the airport for passengers. The plan represents good value for money for airlines and passengers and comes at no cost to taxpayers."

– Heathrow Chief Executive, Colin Matthews.

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Heathrow bosses say previous forecasts were wrong

Heathrow says the charges, which need to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), will help pay for £3 billion of investment, including the opening of the new Terminal 2 next year.

Airport bosses said that errors in previous passenger forecasts meant that Heathrow had lost out on around £650 million of charges over the last five years.

The CAA had based the previous level of charges on estimates that Heathrow would handle 78 million passengers a year by 2013, but the airport is only handling around 70 million.

Year by year: proposed increase in charges

If approved, Heathrow's charges will increase from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012/13 to as much as £27.30 in 2018/19.

Year by year breakdown:

2012/2013 - £19.33 per passenger

2013/2014 - £20.78 per passenger

2014/15 - £21.96 per passenger

2015/16 - £23.25 per passenger

2016/17 - £24.50 per passenger

2017/18 - £25.81 per passenger

2018/19 - £27.30 per passenger

Heathrow passengers face rise in ticket prices

Heathrow Airport is planning to increase the fees it charges to airlines. Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Passengers using Heathrow face a rise in ticket prices under a £3 billion investment plan proposed today by the airport's bosses.

If regulators approve the five-year plan, it would allow Heathrow to charge airlines higher fees.

That means an increase equivalent to more than £19 per passenger from the end of this year, rising to more than £27 in 2018.