Thursday 18 December 2014

Heathrow 'to raise ticket prices'

Published 12/02/2013 | 04:51

Ticket prices at Heathrow could rise as its bosses plan to increase the fee they charge airlines to use the airport
Ticket prices at Heathrow could rise as its bosses plan to increase the fee they charge airlines to use the airport

Passengers using Heathrow face a rise in ticket prices under £3 billion investment plans proposed by bosses of the west London airport.

Heathrow wants regulators to approve a five-year plan which will see the fees it charges airlines to use the airport rise over the period 2014 to 2019. If approved, the charges will increase from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012/13 to as much as £27.30 for in 2018/19.

The charge is the equivalent of £20.78 per passenger for 2013/14 and Heathrow bosses want to be allowed to increase airline charges so that figure rises to £21.96 for 2014/15 with the annual figure rising each year up to 2018/19.

The charges, which need to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), will help pay for the £3 billion of investment that Heathrow is planning. This includes the opening of the new Terminal 2 next year, improved check-in and baggage facilities and more customer service training for staff.

Flight punctuality at Heathrow - the number of planes taking off or landing within 15 minutes of schedule - was only around 67% in 2007. It has now gone up to 80% and Heathrow wants this figure to increase to 90% by the end of the decade.

The airport chiefs said that while 4% of bags went missing in 2007, this figure is now down to 1.5%.

Launching the investment plans, Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said the airport envisaged passenger numbers increasing from just under 70 million now to around 72.6 million by 2018/19.

He had admitted that Heathrow, airlines and the CAA had all got their passenger forecasts wrong for the period 2009 to 2014. The CAA had, in fact, based their ruling on the charges Heathrow could impose on airlines on the basis of the west London airport handling 78 million passengers a year by 2013.

Mr Matthews said this miscalculation had resulted in Heathrow receiving around £650 million less in charges over the last five years. This was money that the airport could not recover now or in the future.

The planned investment until the end of the decade is in addition to £11 billion that has been invested since 2003.

Press Association

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