BRITISH Airways boss Willie Walsh has slammed Heathrow Airport for its sky-high charges after his company nose-dived into the red.
The chief executive of BA's owner IAG, said airline fees at the airport were over the top and should be slashed.
Regulators allowed Heathrow to increase fees by inflation plus 7.5% last year and airlines are fretting that charges could soar under a new regulatory deal due to come in next year.
Walsh said it was outrageous for Heathrow to claim that its shareholders - including Spanish building firm Ferrovial and other private investors - needed to be rewarded for investment in projects such as Terminal 5. He denied that airlines were leading a "phoney war" against the fees because they did not want to have to stomach rises.
"There's nothing phoney about it," he said. "I mean every single word of what I say about charges. Heathrow has been overly well rewarded and it needs to be corrected. Charges can be reduced and performance improved.
"This is ignoring the reality of an airline industry that has struggled for profitability.
We have to get real here - everyone in the industry is saying the same." Heathrow, which plans to invest £3billion between 2014 and 2019, has asked the Civil Aviation Authority for permission to raise airline charges per passenger by 41% from £19.33 in 2012/13 to £27.30 in 2018/19. in the which 14 and thority es per 2/13 to A spokesman said Heathrow had invested billions and passengers had noticed the difference. He added: "Our plan for a further £3bn of private sector investment will further improve the airport. It represents good value."
" IAG, which owns BA and Spain's ailing flagship carrier Iberia, posted annual losses of £529m - against the £383m profit it posted a year ago - due to problems at Iberia and a 20% rise in its fuel bill to £5.3bn.nvested ed the further sector urther ort. It ue." BA and ship ted 9m 3m ear 20% More business and first class travellers, particularly across the Atlantic, helped BA to land operating profits of £299m. ellers, d BA to ng up a woes, But Iberia dragged IAG back, racking up a £303m loss amid Spain's economic woes, competition from low-cost airlines and highspeed trains, industrial disputes and high costs. Walsh vowed to press ahead with slashing 3,800 jobs at Iberia, as well as cutting capacity by 15% this year, by targeting profitable routes and reducing its fleet.
He said: "These losses are unacceptable and I could not be any clearer in saying we won't sustain them any longer."
The gloom surrounding the loss-making Spanish airline forced IAG to write down the Iberia brand by pounds sterling 296m and take a pounds sterling 174m hit on the cost of restructuring it to restore...
Robert Wall and Manuel Baigorri at Bloomberg News report that British Airways' parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA backed a mediator's plan for 3,147 job cuts at unprofitable Spanish...
Airline will cancel 1,300 flights this week as workers begin a second round of strikes
The firm that turned around Continental and America West, now trying to buy Qantas, Iberia and Alitalia.