Commenting on the publication of a 10-week public consultation on the latest expansion plans of Heathrow airport, Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, the association that represents UK-registered carriers, said:
“Airlines have been consistent in their support for expansion at Heathrow and will be making the case for a new runway before the expected parliamentary vote in the summer. However, they have also been clear that this backing remains conditional upon costs being kept under control and passenger charges not increasing in real terms, and they will reserve the right to withdraw their support if this is not achievable. The Government has rightly set out that lower fares are one of the key drivers of expansion at Heathrow, but if charges have to increase to pay for a disproportionately expensive runway, the resulting cost pressures will force up passenger fares and put at risk the viability of new and existing routes, which post-Brexit would see the UK fall further behind our international rivals in Europe and the Middle East with respect to international connectivity.
“We look forward to seeing further detail from Heathrow as to what we are our customers will be asked to pay for, and are committed to continuing to work with the airport and the Civil Aviation Authority to bring down the cost of the scheme further so that charges do not increase. This is the only way that a new runway can be successfully built that will deliver greater connectivity and economic activity for all parts of the UK.”