UK Civil Aviation Authority Allows Heathrow Airport to Increase Passenger Charges
© AP Photo / Matt Dunhamn this file photo dated Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, people in the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London, during England's coronavirus lockdown
© AP Photo / Matt Dunham
LONDON (Sputnik) - London's Heathrow airport will be allowed to raise passenger charges by up to 56 percent from next summer, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Tuesday in a decision that has prompted criticism from the airline industry.
The aviation regulator said in a statement that its initial proposal was to increase cap on London busiest hub’s charge per passenger from £22 ($30) last year to between £24.50 and £34.40, following a request from Heathrow to set the price at between 32 and 43 pounds.
"While international air travel is still recovering, setting a price control for Heathrow Airport against the backdrop of so much uncertainty means we have had to adapt our approach", CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty was quoted as saying.
Moriarty argued that the regulator’s principal objective is "to further the interests of consumers while recognising the challenges the industry has faced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic".
Although the charges are ultimately paid by passengers as airlines add the cost to the price of tickets, the Association of UK Airlines said that it will oppose the CAA’s proposal "in the strongest terms".
"The CAA is our last line of defence against a monopoly-abusing hub airport. Monopolies will always try it on and that’s why we need a strong regulator to clamp down on what is blatant gouging. How on earth can it be in the interests of consumers to ramp up charges by as much as 50%?" Airlines UK chief executive officer Tim Alderslade said in a statement.
Consultations on the price hike proposals will run until 17 December.