Virgin Atlantic has said its ‘disappointing’ that the Competition & Markets Authority looks set to largely back the Civil Aviation Authority’s proposed price cap for Heathrow.
Virgin, which, together with other airlines, had complained to the CMA that the cap was too high, argued that it was based on ‘pessimistic passenger forecasts’ of 375.5m between 2022 and 2026.
In fact, according to Virgin, traffic is already ‘close to pre-pandemic levels’ and is likely to reach 392.5m for the five-year period.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “After three years of consultation, it’s disappointing that the CMA has largely endorsed the CAA’s decision, which did not go far enough to protect consumers from excessive charges at Heathrow.
“Under the incoming CEO, Heathrow must now put customers first, working collaboratively with airlines to get back to its best so it can deliver a world class experience commensurate with being the world’s most expensive airport.”
The CMA did provisionally find that the CAA had made errors in its calculations and has asked the body to reconsider them, but it warned airlines that any possible changes would have only a ‘small net impact’.
The CMA will make its final determination no later than 17 October.