Heathrow accused of trying to ‘squeeze more money from airlines’ after it proposes controversial new charge
Heathrow has been accused of trying to ‘squeeze more money from airlines’ after it proposed a controversial new charge.
Britain’s largest airport wants to impose a £40-per-ton levy that will impact on airlines carrying cargo.
The travel hub has already come under fire this summer – after telling airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposing a cap of 100,000 passengers until October.
Turbulence: Britain’s largest airport wants to impose a £40-per-ton levy that will impact on airlines carrying cargo
A memo seen by The Mail on Sunday reveals details of the charge, which critics say will cause ‘significant economic harm to global Britain’ because it will make exports more expensive.
The document – an update on the Civil Aviation Authority’s consultation on passenger charges – shows Heathrow has refused to budge on its low 2023 passenger forecasts.
It has maintained its expectation that 65.2million passengers will travel through Heathrow next year, which is 80 per cent of 2019 levels.
The International Air Travel Association (IATA), which represents the largest airlines, accused the airport of ‘deliberately underestimating passenger numbers to justify its sky-high prices’.
IATA’s director general Willie Walsh said Heathrow’s efforts to ‘squeeze more money from airlines and passengers’ had to stop. He added: ‘The airport already owes airlines more than £300million in overcharging fees, which it is failing to pay back. These additional charges, especially on cargo, will cause significant economic harm.’
A Heathrow spokesman said it was consulting with airlines on the change and its goal was to invest in airport facilities.