Published on Thursday, February 2, 2017

Virgin calls for drop in charges after Heathrow expansion

Virgin Atlantic is calling on Heathrow Airport to reduce its passenger charges once its extra runway opens.

Speaking as the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled his draft National Policy Statement on airports, outlining what Heathrow must do as part of its expansion, Virgin CEO Craig Kreeger said charges are already too high.

"We are pleased that the Government, the CAA and the airport are talking about the importance of affordability, but the devil will be in the detail and strict cost control is absolutely vital," he said.

"With passenger charges at Heathrow already the highest in the world, it is simply untenable to increase them further to fund expansion.

"As tens of millions more passengers start using the airport when the runway opens, our customers would expect charges to fall over time to more internationally competitive levels."

He added: "Expansion is an exciting, once in a generation opportunity to significantly increase airline competition at the UK's hub airport.

"When one airline group has a stranglehold on almost 60% of the slots at the airport, it inevitably limits the amount of competition that Virgin Atlantic and other carriers can provide.

"If the full benefits of the new runway are to be realised, new capacity must be allocated in a way that brings more choice, lower fares and better service for customers."

Meanwhile, Liverpool Airport CEO Andrew Cornish said he supported the call for Heathrow to add more domestic links as part of the expansion criteria.
"We have been a long-time supporter of Heathrow's plans for a third runway and will respond to the Government's consultation supporting the need to secure these new domestic links, knowing that regional airports such as Liverpool can benefit by the future opening up of access to the UK's hub airport for improved worldwide connectivity," he said.

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  • Most Valuable/Expensive Land in The World

    Thats why Heathrow has the highest Operating Costs. I dont hear Virgin complaining about the Value of their slots. As we now know from the BMI sale, the slots were worth more than the Airline

    By Lord Kent, Saturday, February 4, 2017

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