Sunday 24 February 2019 2:10 pm

Government should cap Heathrow passenger charges says British Airways owner IAG

One of the world’s largest carriers has called on the government to cap the amount passengers are charged for travelling through Heathrow.

IAG, the owner of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus​, hit out at the airport for benefiting its shareholders at the expense of passengers.

Read more: Over 80m passengers flew through Heathrow Airport in 2018

A spokesperson said: “Heathrow is already the most expensive hub airport worldwide and the government must protect consumers by putting a cap on what they pay to use Heathrow.”

The airline lashed out after Heathrow last week revealed it has paid out £500m in shareholder dividends in 2018.

“Britain needs cost-effective airport infrastructure that boosts the UK’s competitiveness not just the airport’s shareholders,” IAG said.

It added: “Charges should not increase from today’s levels if the airport is to have a future. This is even more critical if the UK wants to compete on the global stage post Brexit.”

Read more: Government extends 'no-fly zones' around airport runways after drone chaos

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Last year we reduced passenger charges, whilst delivering an outstanding service that culminated in Heathrow being ranked as one of the top 10 airports globally.

“It is private investment that has transformed Heathrow into what it is today, providing IAG with some of its most profitable routes. It is right that our shareholders receive returns in record years and it will ensure we expand whilst keeping airport charges close to 2016 levels.”