End of an era: Heathrow’s ‘extraordinary’ boss John Holland-Kaye to step down
John Holland-Kaye is stepping down as Heathrow chief executive later this year, it has been announced.
Holland-Kaye, who has been at the London airport’s helm since 2014, will stay in place until a replacement is found.
The reasons behind his decision have not been revealed and the airport has declined to elaborate further on his resignation.
Lord Deighton, Heathrow’s chair praised the chief executive for being “an extraordinary leader of Heathrow.”
“During the past nine years, he has worked tirelessly and collaboratively with shareholders, ministers, airlines and other stakeholders to ensure the country can be proud of its ‘front door’,” Lord Deighton added.
“The board would like to put on record our gratitude to John for his dedication and commitment to Heathrow throughout his tenure as CEO.”
Over the past year the spat between the airport and airlines over charges has intensified.
Carriers have repeatedly accused Heathrow of downplaying its recovery to get a better deal from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the amount it can charge airline customers.
The charge, which is calculated using traveller numbers, was set at an interim of £31.57 per passenger earlier this week, angering carriers.
A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic told City A.M. the charge – which was upped from last year’s £30.19 – was based on Heathrow “knowingly undercooked and self-serving passenger forecasts.”
While British Airways’ owner IAG said it was disappointing that the CAA hadn’t taken into account “the reality of higher traffic volumes, which ought to result in lower fares.”
Before becoming CEO in July 2014, Holland-Kaye was Heathrow’s development director, responsible for delivering the £2.5bn Terminal 2 projects on time and on budget.
Heathrow has always denied the accusations.