Denise Chen - Mar 25, 2008

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority not long ago decided to increase the average layout of all customers passing through London’s main airports, Heathrow and Gatwick. It is quite natural to increase prices, charges and fees to move with the times and inflation, yet the plans have been described in some quarters as ridiculous and way out of proportion. It seems that the increases have little to do with trends at all and are merely a reflection of how monopolies can show their power by exacerbating figures to a ruthless degree. Indeed, there is expected to be a rise of 50% in airport fees at Heathrow between this year and 2013. The increase at Gatwick has been estimated at 21%


The increases are set to be put in motion on April 1 this year and some consider the scale of them to be an April fool’s day joke. The level of increase shall start at 23.5% this year yet will have to move up by a further 7.5% in the next 4 years to keep in touch with inflation. The IATA (International Air Transport Association) has strongly condemned the plans of the London airports, saying that they can be described as nothing else other than a total failure. Mr. Giovanni Bisignani, the head of the IATA, has stated that the increases are the result of a monopoly business, with no success for the airports to blame the increases on. He further stated that the services have remained embarrassing and there is no need for passengers to pay more. He fears for Heathrow and Gatwick in terms of the fact that passengers could turn their attention elsewhere and use other airports in the EU. Even British Airways have voiced their concern by calling for a deep review of the situation.


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