BA backs plan that claims to cut runway cost by £7bn

 IAG is backing a new proposal for a cheaper third runway at Heathrow.

Surinder Arora claims his proposal is up to £6.7bn cheaper than that put forward by the airport, and accused Heathrow of using its monopoly to impose ‘unacceptable and untenable’ charges on airlines and their passengers.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh is quoted, saying the new plan is ‘a welcome alternative to the airport’s own costly scheme’. He added: “The Government should look closely at Arora’s proposals as it would significantly reduce costs.”

Virgin Atlantic boss Craig Kreeger also backs the plan, saying: “Nobody has the monopoly on good ideas.”

The article noted that Mr Arora promised to collaborate more closely with airlines than his competitor, saying: “We know they haven’t done that because every major carrier we have spoken to has said they have never had these consultations with Heathrow.” 

A report by the Civil Aviation Authority has warned that ‘much remains to be done’ by Heathrow in terms of engaging with airlines over the runway scheme and the paper highlights the fears of airlines that the airport will raise charges to pay for the new runway.

It notes that Mr Walsh is concerned that airport fees could rise from £20 to £40 per passenger, effectively making Heathrow a ‘white elephant’. 

A spokesperson for the airport is quoted saying: “We continue to develop our plans to improve passenger experience, reduce the negative impact on local communities, and lower the cost so that we can deliver expansion at close to current charges.” 

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “This will not be expansion at any cost, but the right scheme at the right price.” 

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