Airlines ask BAA to cut back on Gatwick improvements
are concerned that they will be stuck with a £900m bill
that the project is futile in the face of dwindling passenger numbers.
to pass on the costs to
airline customers said the business case for funnelling hundreds of millions of
pounds into new facilities was “unproven”. Gatwick, which handles 34 million passengers
a year, has seen
commercial challenge, the airport is seeing dramatically reduced passenger throughput
and many analysts are forecasting a slow recovery, it would not be sensible to
proceed without a proven business case,” said the committee.
letter suggested that a new owner may have cheaper investment plans. “It would
therefore be pointless to come to a decision about future developments which are
not agreed with the future owner of the airport.”
pier in the north terminal. A Gatwick spokesman said the pier was needed to reach
a target of transferring 95% of passengers to aircraft via piers instead of coaches.
“It’s what passengers want,” he said. “They don’t want to be coached in from a
airport, Manchester Airports Group, pledged shorter security queues and uncluttered
terminals if it acquires Gatwick. “We would have a very different approach and
our approach is designed with the passenger at the core of what we do,” said Geoff
Muirhead, MAG chief executive.
if it wins the
owned by Manchester’s local authorities and is favourite to acquire the airport
because the only other bidder, Global Infrastructure Partners, is considering whether to continue work on its
offer. MAG is expected to submit its final offer in the next three weeks and both suitors
value the business at about £1.4bn.
a year through its ownership of Manchester, East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth
airports but far behind Spanish-controlled BAA, whose seven UK airports handled
145.8 million customers last year.
liquids through security gates and the airport’s chief executive refused to rule
out extending the regime to Gatwick, one of the world’s busiest single-runway
should sort yourself out before you get here. In the more than two years that
this has been in place we have given out for free 4m bags. Two years is long
enough for people to understand.”
charge passengers £3 to be fast-tracked through security. The MAG boss said the
concept was acceptable so long as ordinary queues were not made longer in order
to force customers to shell out £3 to make their flight.
queues longer. If you have fewer security guards on the free queue that’s not
where we want to be.”
Conservative Party, far ahead of Labour in the polls, has also pledged to block
any attempt to build a new landing strip at the airport.
customer first is the only way that any airport operator will survive.”