Heathrow is currently doing a better job than Gatwick in supporting the UK’s regional air network, according to Flybe’s CEO Saad Hammad.
Hammad said that Heathrow had been “more specific” about its plans to help regional flights in terms of slots and a potential reduction in charges on domestic services. But he added that Gatwick had not been “as sensitive as we would like”.
“Right now, Heathrow has one up on Gatwick in terms of listening to regional needs and requirements,” Hammad told The Financial Times.
Flybe does not currently fly from either airport and sold all its slots at Gatwick to Easyjet in 2013.
Both airports are competing for the right to be able to expand and have been shortlisted by the Airports Commission, which is looking at how to increase air capacity in the south-east and is due to submit its final report to the next government after the general election.
Gatwick responded to Hammad’s comments by stressing that it had the “best regional links” of any London airport and would still be cheaper to use, even if Heathrow does cut domestic charges. Gatwick will also announce its plans for fees later this month.