Heathrow Defends Airline Fee Increase Proposal Airlines Say will Make LHR too Pricey for Many Pax

LHR has reportedly come under fire after proposing an increased cap on passenger and airline charges beginning summer 2022, which could see the airport bring in as much as CAD $7.9 billion by 2026, reports Travel Weekly.

Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss accused LHR of busing its monopoly position as London’s main airport “to fleece passengers.” Weiss argued that unlike consumers, LHR is protected from inflation, and as such, the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should “fulfil its primary duty to consumers” by setting a fair price cap. Next month, the CAA is expected to publish its final proposals for price control on overall airport charges through to 2026.

A study commissioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic argued that “Hiking charges will hurt consumers most and ultimately lead to fewer passengers choosing to connect through Heathrow.” In response, an LHR spokesperson said, “The only thing passengers get when you underinvest in an airport is missed flights – which is what we saw at airports across Britain recently, while Heathrow operated smoothly because we have invested in service…Airlines appear less interested in giving passengers a reliable journey at the airport, and more interested in protecting their own profits.”

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