Heathrow boss says he can’t guarantee prices won’t rise to pay for runway – MPs voted for NPS saying fares would be lower
John Holland-Kaye said, on the BBC’s Today Programme, that he can’t guarantee prices [presumably referring to ticket prices, and not the cost of building the whole project] won’t go up to pay for the airport’s third runway. …”it’d be foolish to guarantee flat charges,” although he added it was “way to early to make commitments”. And he says “…We’re very good at this …it would be completed in budget (£14 billion) and on-time (open in 2026)” (well, he would, wouldn’t he?). He is chirpy about the “strong mandate” from the parliamentary vote of a 296 vote majority. Willie Walsh is not at all convinced that the runway would be built by 2026, or even by 2030. One of the reasons the Airports Commission backed the runway (Final Report July 2015) was so fares would become cheaper. Not more expensive. The government’s final NPS in June 2018 (that MPs have now voted for) says: “. Expansion at Heathrow Airport would increase the availability of services, and increase competition between airlines. This would lower fares that passengers can expect to face relative to no expansion, leading to significant benefits to business and leisure passengers and the wider economy”.
Heathrow boss says he can’t guarantee prices won’t rise to pay for third runway
By Josh Mines (City AM)
John Holland-Kaye made the comments on the BBC’s Today Programme.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye has said he can’t guarantee prices won’t go up to pay for the airport’s third runway.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today Programme, he said: “it’d be foolish to guarantee flat charges,” although he added it was “way to early to make commitments”.
When pressed on cost and timescales for the mammoth aviation project, Holland-Kaye said he was confident it would be completed in budget and on-time.
The entire project is expected to cost around £14bn of privately funded money, and is set to open in 2026.
Read more: Parliament backs third runway at Heathrow with strong majority
“We can now get on with confidence with a strong mandate from parliament. We’re very good at this we’ll deliver on time and on budget,” he added.
The airport chief executive’s comments come the day after MPs unanimously voted in favour of building the third runway.
Before the vote, politicians from both sides of the bench slammed foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s no show.
It was initially unclear where Johnson actually was at the time of the vote, although it later emerged he was in Afghanistan on a diplomatic visit.
Johnson has faced particular anger over not turning up as he is a staunch opponent to the third runway plans, and even promised to slow down construction by putting himself in the way of the bulldozer.
See some statements from the Airports Commission final report in July 2015 on how the runway would reduce air fares:
“By creating a large number of new slots for the first time in several decades, it would create opportunities for other airlines, including low-cost carriers, to enter the market at Heathrow for the first time, enhancing competition and driving down fares.”
“Expansion at Heathrow would enhance competition at the airport, helping to reduce fare levels and increase choice for passengers.”
“Increased liberalisation in the aviation sector has enhanced competition between carriers, creating opportunities for market growth and making aviation more accessible, as route networks expand and fares decrease. ”
“There could, however, be a welcome increase in frequency of service and in competition, potentially driving down fares on the thickest intercontinental connections both from London and the UK airports, particularly to North America”
See final report at
Comments in the final Airports National Policy Statement, that MPs have now voted for, dated June 2018, on lower fares:
“.Expansion at Heathrow Airport would increase the availability of services, and increase competition between airlines. This would lower fares that passengers can expect to face relative to no expansion, leading to significant benefits to business and leisure passengers and the wider economy”.
“An expanded Heathrow Airport should therefore mean that more passengers from across the UK are likely to benefit from lower fares and access to important international markets from the airport.”
“The further analysis also shows that, in both carbon policy scenarios, the Heathrow Northwest Runway scheme would deliver significant benefits to passengers and the wider economy (such as lower fares, improved frequency and higher productivity),….”