British Airways’ parent company IAG has come out against the building of a third runway at London Heathrow.
Chief executive Willie Walsh said the costs of building a new runway would be exorbitant and would increase IAG’s expenditure.
His comments are a blow to Heathrow, where BA is the biggest airline.
He told Reuters: “We think the costs associated with the third runway are outrageous and certainly from an IAG point of view we will not be supporting it and we will not be paying for it.”
Walsh added: “We’re not going to support something that increases our costs.”
The Airports Commission published its report recommending a third runway at London Heathrow earlier this month (see news, July 1).
London Gatwick, which is campaigning to construct a second runway, has jumped on Walsh’s comments.
CEO Stewart Wingate: “One month on and the Davies Report is unravelling fast.
“It is no surprise British Airways have come out today against expansion. For the huge costs of a third runway at Heathrow you could build Gatwick, have all the benefits and billions left to invest around the country.
“We also learnt today that – buried deep in the report – is the revelation that a third runway would reduce rather than increase domestic connections to the UK. This blows a hole straight through the heart of Heathrow’s central claim to be the airport for the whole of the UK.
‘Taken together with Heathrow’s own rejection of the environmental conditions and the expert view that the Davies air quality consultation is fundamentally flawed it is clear that that the Heathrow hurdles are higher than ever.”