Feb 5, 2018

British Airways owner calls for break-up of Heathrow monopoly

The owner of British Airways, Heathrow's biggest single customer, has stepped up its stinging attack on the high cost of expansion at the airport, calling for the break-up of Heathrow's monopoly as a way to cut costs. Pressure for new airport capacity is mounting with all of the UK's five major airports expected to be at full capacity by the mid 2030s and British business arguing that congestion is holding back international trade. A Heathrow spokesperson said expansion would give consumers more choice by promoting competition among carriers: "Expansion will open up opportunities for IAG, easyJet, Flybe, Virgin and dozens of international airlines with whom we are working closely to deliver expansion at close to current charges, while meeting all our commitments to local communities." IAG has supported expansion at Heathrow, but favoured alternative, cheaper, plans. Mr Walsh said the government should state explicitly in its Airports National Policy Statement that the cost of Heathrow expansion to customers should be capped at today's prices.

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