Heathrow to reduce charges on domestic flights from £29.59 to £19.59 from 1st Jan 2016 – to deter passengers flying via Schiphol etc

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic passengers. It says that from 1st January 2016 it will reduce the minimum departure charge for all flights (currently £1,406) to £1,268.40 per domestic flight. It will also cut the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, in a bid to increase the number of passengers flying between UK regional airports and Heathrow. Heathrow serves just 7 regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990. It hopes the lower charges on domestic routes would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of the limited number of slots for regional flights, which are less profitable for airlines than long haul flights. Heathrow also says it will reduce minimum charges per plane to £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations. It will also cut the per passenger charge for passengers flying to European destinations by £5 to £24.59.  They plan instead to charge more for the noisiest planes, and those that emit more NOx – with the overall changes revenue neutral.  The aim is discouraging passengers flying via European airports like Schiphol, and using Heathrow instead.  The environmental fees would rise from being 21% to being 28% of total airport charges.  Heathrow also say that, if they get a 3rd runway, they would open 5 new domestic routes, including Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.


Heathrow to cut domestic charges by a third

2 April 2015 (BBC)

Heathrow plans to cut the fees it charges airlines for domestic and European passengers

Heathrow airport plans to cut the fee it charges airlines for passengers travelling to other UK destinations by a third from next year.

The move would reduce the charge from £29.59 to £19.59 in a bid to boost regional connections to Britain’s busiest airport.

The airport is also proposing raising environmental charges to encourage cleaner, quieter planes.

Heathrow serves just seven regional destinations, down from 18 in 1990.

Charges for passengers flying to European destinations will also be cut by £5 to £24.59.

The airport hoped the reductions, which would take effect on 1 January 2016, would encourage fuller planes and make more efficient use of limited capacity.

Airlines are not obliged to pass on the savings to passengers but it is expected that many would.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

New domestic destinations

The review of charges is part of the airport’s attempt to keep existing domestic routes commercially attractive to airlines and meet the recommendations of the National Connectivity Taskforce [a body set up by Heathrow, paid for by it, and recommending changes that benefit Heathrow. AW note].

Last month, the airport pledged to open more routes to domestic destinations if it is allowed to expand and build a third runway. New routes could include Humberside, Newquay and Liverpool.

Edinburgh is one of the few regional airports to remain connected with Heathrow.

According to Heathrow, 1.7 million passengers connecting with long-haul flights in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris or Dubai could potentially be persuaded do so through the London airport if charges were reduced.

It also plans to alter the minimum departure charge for all flights, which currently stands at £1,406.

The proposals mean that airlines would have to pay a minimum of £1,268.40 per flight, £1,592.15 for EU flights and £2,689.82 for non-EU destinations.

Heathrow reviews its charging structure every five years. The final schedule will be announced in August.



Analysis: Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland business and economy editor

Heathrow’s bosses concede that they’ve lost ground in short-haul UK and European flights, while the scarcity of landing slots has pushed airlines to use them for more lucrative long-haul flights.

In the past 25 years, Heathrow’s UK and Crown Dependency links are down from 18 destinations to only seven. Other London airports and rail offer alternatives, but that can be inconvenient for outbound passengers, and a blockage for inbound travellers who might otherwise visit other parts of the UK.

While Northern Irish links with London are almost all by plane, 69% of travellers between Scotland and London go by air. Yet there is no Heathrow link to Inverness.

Only BA links Heathrow to Glasgow, and Little Red, part of Virgin Atlantic, is to ground its links to Edinburgh and Aberdeen in September, leaving British Airways without competition. Meanwhile, smaller airports are closing or need government support without London links, including Blackpool, Newquay, Plymouth, Prestwick and Dundee.

The new charging regime, if implemented, would provide a financial signal to help maintain the shorter spokes in to the Heathrow hub. It would also help Heathrow’s argument that it is good for the UK as a whole, as it fights for permission to build another runway.



Also Telegraph article



Heathrow airport to increase charges for noisy, polluting aircraft

Some fares should fall in move to boost domestic traffic and provide incentives for airlines to fly cleaner and quieter planes

2.4.2014 (Guardian)

Heathrow is planning to cut charges for airlines flying domestic routes from the London hub airport by a third and will make up the shortfall by increasing the charges attached to noise and pollution.

The airport hopes the move will provide more incentive for airlines to fly cleaner and quieter planes.

Some fares should fall as Heathrow is proposing to give a £10 discount to the average £29.59 per passenger charge for domestic flights, although the charges are levied on airlines rather than customers so are not necessarily passed on.

Only seven domestic routes now operate out of Heathrow, compared with 18 in 1990, and the airport hopes to reverse the decline and prove its worth as a national hub airport with domestic connections as it seeks to win approval for a third runway. About 7% of its 73.2 million passengers each year fly on domestic routes.

Environmental charges on the dirtiest, noisiest aircraft will increase, with a doubling of the tariff attached to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The noisiest planes will face a trebling in charges to £9,000 per landing, although fewer than 1% of flights fall into this category.

Overall airport charges are capped by the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, so the changes, to take effect in January 2016 after consultation with airlines, will be revenue-neutral.

The discount for UK flights will help Heathrow avoid losing more traffic to other EU hub airports, with increasing numbers of passengers now flying from UK regional airports to places such as Schiphol for long-haul connections. Heathrow will also cut charges by £5 for passengers departing to European destinations.

Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “We’re serious when we say Heathrow is committed to making sure that businesses across Britain can benefit from the connections to growth markets that only the UK’s hub can provide, while incentivising only the quietest and cleanest planes to operate from Heathrow.

“Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

The Airports Commission will give its recommendation on whether an extra runway should be built at either Heathrow or Gatwick shortly after the general election.

A Gatwick spokesperson said: “Gatwick has the best regional links of any Londonairport and still remains significantly cheaper than Heathrow.”




Heathrow Airport Cutting Fees for Domestic Passengers

2.4.2015 (Travel Pulse)

Heathrow Airport in London has a vision and has a plan, and unlike other companies with visions and plans that end up costing the public, this one might actually save some Brits some money.

The airport plans to cut the passenger fee from 30 euros to 20 euros for anyone who flies domestically in a bid to boost more flights within the U.K, not to mention some homegrown tourism, according to the London Telegraph.

According to the paper, the airport believes more affordable domestic flights are not only good for passengers, but will make the seven routes being offered – Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle – more viable for regional airports that find themselves in a quandary between choosing an overseas flight or a domestic flight for their limited takeoff slots.

Even better, to make up the difference, Heathrow has no plans to pass the costs on to international travelers. Instead, the paper noted, Heathrow will raise fees on the noisiest and most polluting airlines, which it hopes will encourage companies to use more environmentally friendly planes.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, told the Telegraph that the airport is “serious when we say Heathrow is committed to making sure that businesses across Britain can benefit from the connections to growth markets that only the U.K.’s hub can provide, while incentivizing only the quietest and cleanest planes to operate from Heathrow. Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the U.K.”




See also:

Why Schiphol will never become ‘Heathrow’s 3rd runway’ – it has tight noise and ATM limits

We are routinely told that, if Heathrow doesn’t expand, people from other UK airports like Newcastle, Edinburgh and Liverpool will choose to fly to Schiphol (Amsterdam) to interchange onto long-distance flights. The CEO of Schiphol Airport has even rather cheekily called it ‘Heathrow’s third runway’ or referred to Amsterdam as “London’s 2nd hub.” However, John Stewart explains that this is not a situation that can continue indefinitely. Though Schiphol has 5 runways, in reality only two can be used at one time. And unlike airports in the UK, Schiphol has strict noise regulations about which runways can be used, and when. The use of the two runways which go over densely-populated areas is avoided whenever possible. Schiphol has almost reached its permissible noise limits, with around 425,565 flights last year – and a limit of 510,000 per year (cf. 480,000 at Heathrow). When the noise from planes using one runway reaches a certain point, no more is allowed in that year, and traffic should be diverted to alternative runways. The system in use at Schiphol to protect residents from aircraft noise is more rigorous than in the UK, and the Dutch take their noise responsibilities on aircraft noise too seriously to allow Schiphol to become effectively a UK hub.

Click here to view full story…

See earlier:

Schiphol airport unfazed by prospect of new London runway – many UK passengers prefer transferring from Schiphol

Schiphol Group president and chief executive Jos Nijhuis, described Amsterdam as “London’s second hub”. Schiphol now handles up to 8 million UK passengers a year, 60% of whom connect to onward flights. Schiphol believes passengers from UK regional airports will continue to choose Amsterdam rather than Heathrow to connect to long‑haul flights, even if Heathrow gets a 3rd runway. 13 UK airports have services to Amsterdam and this will rise to 14 next month, with the addition of Belfast.  The loss of UK regional traffic to Amsterdam because of capacity constraints at Heathrow has featured heavily in Heathrow’s lobbying for a new runway, wanting to prevent the loss of customers to Schiphol. And wanting to keep on being the biggest international airport, by far, in Europe.  Jos Nijhuis said: “We are London’s second hub and doing very well. …I tell [Heathrow chief executive] John Holland-Kaye: ‘Consider our most western runway as yours. We can rename it Heathrow Runway Three….We are a much better transfer airport [than our rivals]. We designed the airport for transfers.” KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers said: “I don’t think additional capacity in London would make Heathrow more attractive than Schiphol to passengers in Newcastle or Humberside.” He felt higher charges needed by Heathrow to pay for a new runway would mean the runway would not reduce the traffic going via Schiphol.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions

Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway. Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool. That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey. There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.

Click here to view full story…