When London's Heathrow Airport started talking last month about raising per-passenger charges by as much as 53% in the coming year, a coalition of airlines cried foul, saying the increase would chase passengers away, interfere with industry recovery, and possibly chase airlines to other airports.
Now, British Airways is following up on that threat, saying that the proposed increases from £19.80 per passenger, already one of the highest of any airport in the world, to as much as £43, if not blocked, will lead BA to move flights away from London's main airport, where it and its allies are the dominant carriers.
Luis Gallego, head of International Airways Group, parent of BA, Iberia and Aer Lingus, told an industry conference earlier this week that "we need to attract demand to stay competitive...Hiking charges will not help. It will not attract demand—it will have the opposite effect." He then warned “If the rise in landing charges goes ahead, I know IAG will not be alone in reconsidering our airlines’ use of Heathrow.”