1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Ryanair says the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) group director of economic regulation, Dr Harry Bush, should resign or be dismissed after raising the possibility of further price increases at Stansted Airport.
The CAA has begun a consultation on price caps for regulated airports ” which include Heathrow and Gatwick - for the five year period from 1 April 2009, and is considering options which would see a doubling of passenger charges at Stansted to ”12.50 per person.
”These massive inflation busting increases would be the second time in two years that Mr Harry ”Double the Charges” Bush will have signed off on a doubling of charges at the BAA airport,” said a Ryanair statement.
The budget carrier was delighted earlier this month when Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly turned down the CAA”s recommendation to de-regulate Stansted, which would have allowed owner BAA to set its own charges. But there is now renewed worry regarding the CAA”s price cap review.
Ryanair”s head of regulatory affairs, Jim Callaghan, said: ”Harry Bush”s insane suggestion that this over-charging monopoly should be freed from regulation so that it could further rip off passengers with higher charges and longer queues at Stansted, show he us unfit to regulate the BAA airport.
”Having allowed them to double the charges in April 2007, this would be a 200% price increase over a two year period. At a time when inflation is running at less than 5% per annum these massive price increases prove this regulator is incapable and should resign or be dismissed.”
The CAA says it is considering five pricing methods, so a doubling of charges is certainly not guaranteed, and anyway, a spokeswoman pointed out that a price cap is a maximum level and not necessarily what the operator will charge.
Bush said on Friday: ”We fully accept the Secretary of State”s decision that Stansted airport should continue to be price-regulated. Our job is now to develop proposals that are proportionate, taking into account the market power held by Stansted Airport.”
The CAA says it is consulting on proposals until 17 March and ”welcomes views on them.” It will refer its plans to the Competition Commission towards the end of April.
” British Airways (BA) is also putting pressure on the CAA after BAA asked to delay the introduction of new Heathrow airport services by up to two years.
BA general manager of airport policy and infrastructure, Paul Ellis, said: ”It appears that BAA is paying lip service to customers” needs and will only take real steps to improve service quality when forced to do so by the regulators.
”Many of the areas identified as needing better targets affect flight punctuality. Delays at security control posts mean that, on occasions, catering is late being loaded on the aircraft and even our flight and cabin crew don't get to the aircraft on time.