The chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG) has warned that British Airways (BA) could reduce flights at Heathrow Airport should passenger charges rise next year.
Speaking at the Airlines 2021 conference, Luis Gallego said that the UK’s largest airport, where BA’s central hub is based, already has among the highest traveller charges in the world.
He remarked that any increase in fees would force IAG and other airline owners to review their use of Heathrow, which is the third busiest airport globally by international passenger volumes.
Warning: ‘If the rise in landing charges goes ahead, I know IAG will not be alone in reconsidering our airlines’ use of Heathrow,’ remarked IAG boss Luis Gallego (pictured)
Last month, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released proposals that, if approved, could allow Heathrow to set landing charges of between £24.50 and £34.40 from next summer, compared to just under £20 right now.
However, the airport has called on the organisation to set the cap at a much higher range of £32 to £43. A consultation is currently taking place on the matter and runs until 17 December.
Heathrow’s results covering the first nine months of 2021 showed it making a loss of £1.38billion due to tumbling passenger numbers caused by harsh coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
IAG’s results for the January to September period also showed it making a huge loss of €2.62billion, which was still a fall of more than half on the same period last year.
Hiking the passenger charges significantly would help the airport recoup much needed financial strength, but Gallego said to do so would incentivise passengers to travel through other airports.
‘Hiking charges will not help. It will not attract demand – it will have the opposite effect,’ he stated. ‘If the rise in landing charges goes ahead, I know IAG will not be alone in reconsidering our airlines’ use of Heathrow.’
Grounded: International Airlines…