Heathrow Airport narrowed its losses this quarter, but said results were impacted by the CAA’s price cap, as well as ongoing strike action.
The airport posted adjusted pre-tax losses of £139m, down from £223m the previous year, writing that this was due to the “the revenue allowance in the CAA’s H7 settlement being set too low.” It forecasts no dividends for 2023.
The group welcomed 16.9 million passengers in the first quarter, retaining its position as Europe’s busiest airport and second in the world for international travel.
Revenues increased by 57 per cent to £814m, up from £516m the previous year.
The results come after a period of industrial action in Easter, which saw Heathrow security guards strike for 10 days. Heathrow’s ongoing spat with airlines over the price cap continued, as both Heathrow and Virgin Atlantic announced their decision to appeal to the CAA over the current decision.
Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye said “2023 has got off to a strong start, and I’m proud of the way colleagues are working together to deliver great passenger service every day.”
The airport also plans to increase the frequency of trips to Beijing and Shanghai to twice daily this summer, as China reopens its borders and called on the government to end the ‘tourist tax.’.
Holland-Kaye added: “We are building our route network to connect all of Britain to the growing markets of the world – now we need the government to lure international visitors back to the UK by scrapping the ‘tourist tax’.”
“We urge Ministers to make the UK more competitive for overseas visitors versus the EU by removing the ‘tourist tax’ of VAT on shopping which will drive more spend in shops, restaurants and attractions across Britain.”
Heathrow airport and the price cap
The UK Civil Aviation Authority published its final decision for the annual caps that will apply to the charges that Heathrow Airport Limited levies on airlines for using the airport until the end of 2026.