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Head of world airline group blasts Heathrow plan for higher fees


LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Willie Walsh, head of world airways trade physique IATA, referred to as Britain’s Heathrow Airport a “greedy monopoly hub” on Wednesday and stated its plans to boost airport expenses had been “outrageous”.

Since leaving British Airways mum or dad firm IAG (ICAG.L) final yr to run the International Air Transport Association, Walsh has continued to bang the drum towards passenger expenses at Britain’s busiest airport. learn extra

Addressing an viewers on the Aviation Club in central London, he stated Heathrow was making an attempt to put the monetary burden of the COVID-19 disaster on its clients by proposing to boost airport expenses by 90% to 42 kilos ($57) per particular person.

“This time around, when you see what it is that Heathrow is trying to do, it just jumps off the page,” Walsh stated.

Heathrow, which final yr misplaced its crown as Europe’s busiest hub to Paris, is owned by traders together with Spain’s Ferrovial (FER.MC), the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp.

It stated airports throughout Britain and the world had been having to extend their costs after the pandemic, and it was a respectable response to make sure they may maintain working.

“We’ve proposed a balanced increase of 4% to the average airfare which will allow us to continue targeted investment in the airport’s resilience and to maintain basic service standards,” Heathrow stated in an announcement.

Walsh, who has a fame as a bruiser in coping with unions and suppliers, stated the higher expenses would fund larger dividends for Heathrow shareholders.

He referred to as on Britain’s regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, to guard customers by pushing again towards the airport’s “outrageous behaviour”.

“The recovery of the UK’s travel and tourism industry impacts millions of jobs. They cannot be held hostage to the intransigence of what is effectively a greedy monopoly hub airport,” he stated.

“I cannot see how almost doubling the charge at Heathrow is in the interest of consumers, particularly as we’re trying to recover the industry.”
($1 = 0.7335 kilos)

Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Alex Richardson

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A worker sanitises a barrier at the International arrivals area of Terminal 5 in London's Heathrow Airport, Britain, August 2, 2021.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

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