Heathrow airport has announced a £10 reduction in domestic passenger charges, putting pressure on airlines to pass the saving onto their customers.
The reduction – would took effect from yesterday (January 1) – sees the airport’s domestic charge reduced to £19.10 per passenger.
Heathrow says it is the largest discount the airport has ever made, and that it “fulfils a key pledge Heathrow made in its expansion manifesto to make the UK’s hub airport work harder for families in every corner of Britain”.
The airport added that it “proposes that the discount lasts through to 2037, as long as it is in the public interest and there is a justification”.
Airlines including British Airways, Aer Lingus and Flybe will be obliged to take account of the reduced charge when displaying the breakdown of domestic fares from Heathrow, although they do not necessarily have to pass the saving onto customers.
But Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye said that the move would put “over £500 million back into the pockets of British families and businesses”, helping to “spur growth in every part of the UK”.
The airport also claimed that “Airlines are already responding to Heathrow’s cheaper domestic charges”, with Flybe set to launch flights to Aberdeen and Edinburgh from March.
The regional carrier provided Business Traveller with the following statement:
“Flybe welcomes Heathrow’s commitment to enhanced regional connectivity. The cut in domestic passenger charges that came into effect today was a key factor in allowing Flybe to commence operations from Heathrow for the first time, with flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen starting in March 2017.”
Business Traveller has contacted British Airways for comment, and will post any response here.