– British Airways
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.
– Virgin Atlantic chief operating officer Steve Griffiths
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.
Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said the airport envisaged passenger numbers increasing from just under 70 million now to around 72.6 million by 2018/19.
He had admitted that Heathrow, airlines and the CAA had all got their passenger forecasts wrong for the period 2009 to 2014.
The CAA based their ruling on the charges Heathrow could impose on airlines on the basis of the west London airport handling 78 million passengers a year by 2013.
Mr Matthews said this miscalculation had resulted in Heathrow receiving around £650 million less in charges over the last five years.
This was money that the airport could not recover now or in the future.
The planned investment until the end of the decade is in addition to £11 billion that has been invested since 2003.
The charges, which need to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), will help pay for the £3 billion of investment that Heathrow is planning. This includes:
- The opening of the new Terminal 2 next year, improved check-in and baggage facilities and more customer service training for staff.
- Flight punctuality at Heathrow - the number of planes taking off or landing within 15 minutes of schedule - was only around 67% in 2007. It has now gone up to 80% and Heathrow wants this figure to increase to 90% by the end of the decade.
Passengers using Heathrow face a rise in ticket prices under £3 billion investment plans proposed by bosses of the west London airport.
Heathrow wants regulators to approve a five-year plan which will see the fees it charges airlines to use the airport rise over the period 2014 to 2019.
If approved, the charges will increase from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012/13 to as much as £27.30 for in 2018/19.