HEATHROW IS CONSIDERING NEXT STEPS Airlines Secure Victory on Passenger Charges

Heathrow Airport says it is “considering its next steps” after the industry regulator ruled it must cut per passenger fees it charges airlines from next year.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said Britain’s hub airport could charge an average maximum price per passenger of £27.49 over the 2022-2026 period.

It marked a significant victory for airlines using the west London airport who have long argued that charges are too high.

The charge covering this year, which is passed down to passengers via their tickets, is £31.57.

Airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have complained it is currently the highest in the world but Heathrow says it is crucial to support investment and its recovery from the COVID pandemic.

It had sought to increase charges to a range between £32 and £43 over the four year period.

But the CAA said in a final decision on the regulated cap: “This lower level of charges from 2024 recognises that passenger volumes are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels and should benefit passengers in terms of lower costs, while also allowing Heathrow Airport Limited to continue investing in the airport for the benefit of consumers and supporting the airport’s ability to finance its operations.

A company spokesperson responded: “The CAA has chosen to cut airport charges to their lowest real terms level in a decade at a time when airlines are making massive profits and Heathrow remains loss-making because of fewer passengers and higher financing costs.