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London Heathrow Airport will be forced to cut its landing fees over the next four years, the UK Aviation Authority said in a decision that will please airlines but expose the airport to a blow when the industry recovers from the pandemic.
The Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday that Heathrow’s landing fees will drop from £ 30.19 per passenger to £ 26.31 by 2026, following a consultation dominated by a quarrel between Heathrow and the major airlines landing at the airport.
Heathrow argued that it should be allowed to charge more per passenger given the uncertainty about how many people will fly after the pandemic, and the need to upgrade the airport’s infrastructure.
But airlines warned of rising fares for passengers at an airport that already has some of the highest landing fees in the world. The fees are usually transferred to the customers.
The final decision lies in the lower part of the range that the CAA had considered and came after the charge was raised from 22 pounds to 30.19 pounds in January during a transitional period to take into account the lower number of passengers who passed the airport during the flight. pandemic.
In total, the charges will average £ 28.39 between 2022 and 2026, enough, the regulator said, for Heathrow to install new safety equipment and a luggage system in Terminal 2, replacing technology that failed earlier this month.
Following the decision, Heathrow said in a statement: “The CAA continues to underestimate what is required to deliver a good passenger service, both in terms of the level of investment and operating costs required and the fair incentive required for private investors to finance it.”
“Correctedly, these parts of the CAA’s proposal will only result in passengers having a worse experience at Heathrow when investment in service dries out,” it added.
The decision can be appealed to the Swedish Competition and Marketing Authority.