EasyJet’s Gatwick price claims rejected

27.6.2009   (Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – The High Court has dismissed allegations by low-cost carrier
easyJet that price increases approved at Gatwick airport last year were legally
flawed, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Friday. 


EasyJet had accused the CAA, which regulates the airports network, of unlawfully
raising the cost of using the airport, claiming that the price hike followed private
talks between the regulator and the airport’s operator BAA after the deadline
for a consultation period passed.


“The CAA is pleased with the outcome of this judicial review,” CAA Group Director
Economic Regulation Harry Bush said in a statement. “This provides an opportunity
to draw a line under the most recent price control reviews of Heathrow, Gatwick
and Stansted and to focus on future regulation of airports.”


The court did, however, grant easyJet the right to appeal, the CAA said.


The low-cost carrier had said the decision to increase the maximum charge per
passenger using Gatwick by 1.18 pounds to 6.79 pounds would cost it 46 million
pounds in extra fees over five years.


The CAA says the price increases are necessary to pay for modernisation and improvements
in services, including additional security costs at the airport which lies to
the south of London.


(Reporting by Paul Hoskins)