City airport's new owners 'heeded fees freeze call'Comments Off on City airport's new owners 'heeded fees freeze call'
THE new owners of London City Airport have listened to the demands of airlines not to hike prices, BA boss Willie Walsh declared today.
Walsh said a consortium led by the Ontario Teachers’ pension fund, which bought the Docklands airport for £2 billion in February, had heeded his warning that increasing prices to operate from there would force the airline to move flights. The airport is a favourite of City workers and handled a record 4.3 million passengers last year.
“They got the message loud and clear from us in terms of charges. We’ve been told they’ve got the message,” Walsh said.
British Airways, which is the largest carrier from the airport, voiced fears that the hefty price tag on the deal would mean higher charges for using the airport. There is little capacity for new shops, meaning landing fees could be an obvious option to recoup the outlay on the deal.
Walsh added: “There is no way we are going to be held hostage there. If the charges are increased we can take a lot of capacity out.”
He said that City Airport had been growing as the airline was able to supplement core business travel with an increasing number of flights to tourist destinations.