Heathrow Airport said proposals capping fees at Europe’s busiest travel hub risk driving away investors, even as airlines led by British Airways argue that passengers will desert the hub because of the impact on fares.
Heathrow Airport Ltd., the owner of London’s biggest aviation hub, said that rival Gatwick airport lacks the connections to support long-haul services to emerging markets as the two vie for the right to add runways and flights.
London’s Heathrow airport, hemmed in by urban sprawl and barred from adding a new runway, is turning to bigger jets and glitzier shops to keep growing in the face of a campaign to build a rival hub on the Thames estuary.
London’s Heathrow airport, facing calls for its demolition, should remain Britain’s aviation hub and be allowed to build one more runway to add capacity while diminishing the impact of aircraft noise, its owner said.
The U.K. aviation regulator’s proposal to cap fees charged by London’s biggest airports over the next five years risks driving away investors, threatening plans to ramp up runway capacity, Heathrow Airport Ltd. said.
London’s Heathrow airport’s 66 million annual passengers will ultimately have to foot the bill for making Europe’s busiest hub snow-proof if Britain’s winters turn permanently colder, according to owner BAA Ltd.
BAA Ltd. ’s London Heathrow airport may become less competitive against other European hubs and demand for long-haul leisure flights to the city may be hurt because of rising U.K. tax, Chief Executive Officer Colin Matthews said.
Limited capacity at London’s Heathrow Airport costs the U.K. as much as 14 billion pounds ($22.2 billion) a year in lost trade as other European hubs boost connections to growing economies like China and Peru, the airport operator said.
BAA Ltd., the owner of London’s Heathrow and Stansted airports, narrowed its first-half loss as traffic was spurred by growth in emerging markets and an alliance between British Airways and American Airlines.