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Heathrow proposes 'to raise ticket prices'

Operator forecasts it will serve around 72.6mn passengers by 2018-19

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Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd, formerly as BAA, has submitted an investment plan to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which, if approved, would see ticket prices go up by the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012-13 up to a possible £27.30 in 2018-19 at London’s Heathrow airport.

Announcing the move on Tuesday, Heathrow Ltd said it was necessary in order to meet costs of its £3 billion 5-year investment plan, part of which needs to be charged out to the airlines that use the airport.

The operator said the increased charges would pay for investment including improved check-in and baggage facilities and opening of the new Terminal 2 in 2014. The current investment proposal is separate from any future decision on a third Heathrow runway.

Heathrow Ltd also forecast passenger numbers at London Heathrow increasing from just below 70 million at present to around 72.6 million by 2018-19. Apart from London Heathrow, the company also owns Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

Chief executive Colin Matthews said, "Heathrow faces stiff competition from other European hubs and we must continue to improve the service we offer passengers and airlines."

In response to the move, British Airways, the largest airline operator at Heathrow, said, "We hope the regulator will give a fair ruling in the months ahead, which doesn't penalise customers and airlines."

Competitor Virgin Atlantic said, "We are totally committed to improving the passenger experience at Heathrow. However, we believe this can be done without a repeat of the incredibly steep price rises we have seen in airport charges in the last few years."

A spokesperson for the CAA said it will publish its final decision Heathrow Ltd’s plan in January 2014.



Heathrow proposes 'to raise ticket prices'
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