Business Travel Show Europe is the place where
September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh has called for Heathrow’s management to be replaced over an impending rise in charges and cut in investment at the UK’s hub airport.
The CAA is currently putting together its final proposals for Heathrow’s charges that will be levied on airlines and their passengers from 2014 to 2019. The final proposals will be revealed on October 4.
The initial proposal from the CAA was for charges to be set at the rate of retail price index (RPI) minus 1.3 per cent. This means that fees at the airport will increase by £600 million over the next five years.
Walsh has denounced the move, and called for Heathrow’s chief executive Colin Matthews to be replaced.
“Heathrow’s management seems to be incapable of running their business efficiently within a routine cost control environment which is a day-to-day reality for most companies,” said Walsh.
“If they can't introduce customer improvements in a cost-effective way, then they should step aside and let someone else run the airport.”
Reports show that during the current regulatory period from 2008 to 2013, Heathrow invested £4.5 billion in new facilities at the airport, including the opening of Terminal 5 and reconstruction of Terminal 2.
However, the airport has announced that it plans to cut future spending by £1.5 billion despite the increase in charges.
Matthews has publicly stated that if the airport is not allowed to set charges at RPI plus 2 per cent, then there may be further cuts of £1 billion.
A Heathrow spokesman defended the airport’s position: “We have put forward plans for more than £400 million of cost savings over the next five years. We want to continue the investment that has been improving Heathrow for passengers.”