Heathrow Airport received a warning that they cannot increase their passenger charges for airline passengers as much as they wanted.

At present, the airport can charge up to £23 per passenger for the cost of operating terminals, runways, baggage systems and security.

It wanted that to rise to as much as £43 in January, but the Civil Aviation Authority now says it will be capped at £24.50 to £34.40 for five years.

An interim figure of £30 has already been set for 2022.

This move is made at a time when the aviation industry struggles to rebound from the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

Last year, Heathrow reported a £2bn annual loss after passenger numbers during the pandemic dropped to levels last seen in the 1970s.

Richard Moriarty chief executive at CAA told BBC that the sector had been going through “a really hard period.”

The CAA attempted to maintain charges as low and as affordable as possible. However, Heathrow must invest in quality to ensure that they remain a top-quality airport.

Also, the CAA confirmed earlier in this year its decision on Heathrow’s regulated assets base. This determines how much Heathrow can collect from customers via charges.

This will now rise by £300m, rather than the £2.3bn requested by the company.

Moriarty stated that Heathrow was trying to recuperate its losses due to pandemics from the consumers. But, the CAA rejected this claim.

Consultation will take place until December, and a decision in January.

The Competition and Markets Authority can be contacted by Heathrow airlines or airport personnel if they wish to challenge the plans.

Heathrow spokesperson stated that they are trying to find a solution to enable us to offer passengers great service and operate a competitive, secure hub airport in Britain.

The fact that Heathrow has been voted by passengers the top airport in the world is testimony to private investment. To ensure this continues, we think the settlement should guarantee a fair return to investors.

A spokesperson said that the settlement did not protect airlines from “legitimate cost increases” or the effects of less people traveling.

Source: BBC.com

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