They said: “If the management team fails to achieve sufficient savings, it is time to tap into its generously rewarded shareholders. The story of Heathrow under its current owners is a case study of the extreme use of debt. “
Mr Gallego warned that the increase in landing fees will have to be passed on to passengers.
IAG says Heathrow is already 44% more expensive than its main continental competitors. Mr Gallego warned BA would move flights to France, the Netherlands and Germany if Heathrow and the CAA did not back down.
The increased disembarkation fees could have serious consequences for Sir Richard’s hopes of floating Virgin Atlantic to help restore its finances after the pandemic. Michael O’Leary, the outspoken founder of Ryanair, said last month that the list was “probably f ***** proposals”.
The coalition marks a temporary suspension of hostilities between Mr. Walsh and Sir Richard, who retains a 51% stake in the airline he founded in 1984. When Singapore Airlines sold its minority stake in Virgin Atlantic to Delta in 2012 , the Irishman declared the end of the transatlantic challenger.
Sir Richard responded by betting £ 1million that his airline would still be operating in five years. Mr Walsh changed the bet to a ‘knee in the groin’ because £ 1million was not big enough for a ‘billionaire banker’. Both teams claimed victory in 2017.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow offers tremendous value to airlines – our world-class facilities allow them to charge higher margins and mean that six of the 10 most profitable air routes in the world depart from Heathrow.
“On top of that, we give them free slots which they can then sell for up to $ 75million (£ 56million) each or use as collateral against loans, a value they can’t achieve in any. another airport in the world.
“In contrast, our investors have had negative real returns over the past 15 years. Airlines are right that the UK’s ambitions for a global Britain depend on Heathrow, but they are wrong in thinking that they can be achieved without a fair return for the investors who deliver it.
Heathrow’s greed puts global Britain at risk
By Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA; Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic; and Luis Gallego, Managing Director of International Airlines Group (IAG)
The wait was high on both sides of the Atlantic this week as the United States reopened to vaccinated travelers, more than 600 days after the border closed. Weeping reunion scenes reminded us that flying is really freedom.
Nothing can replace a long-awaited hug with a loved one or looking your business partner in the eye. But just as the industry enters the recovery phase, that much-needed boost for UK consumers and industry could be undermined by Heathrow’s greed.
Even before the recovery takes hold, Heathrow is back to its old tricks – using its market dominance to enrich its shareholders at the expense of travelers, airlines and the UK economy. To compensate for the loss of revenue due to the pandemic, the airport has asked to increase charges by 90% from 2022 compared to 2019.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which as a regulator has a legal obligation to protect consumers from price abuse, has already reduced that increase to a maximum increase of 50%. But a closer look reveals why the CAA needs to be so much stricter.