easyJet witholds Gatwick payment

easyJet has informed BAA that it intends to withhold part of the dramatic price increase being imposed on it at Gatwick Airport, pending the outcome of a Judicial Review.In a letter to BAA’s new Chief Executive Colin Matthews (the text of which is repeated in full below), easyJet CEO Andy Harrison repeats the airline’s strong objection to the 21% increase in passenger charges that came into effect from 1 April 2008 and has given BAA until Wednesday 16th April to agree the principles of this arrangement.

easyJet and other airlines have been incensed by the dramatic price increases that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is allowing BAA to charge at Gatwick and Heathrow and has informed the CAA of its intention to challenge the Gatwick prices rises through a Judicial Review.

Over the next five years, the regulator will allow charges at Gatwick to increase by 49% from £5.61 to £8.36; whilst at Heathrow charges will increase by 86% from £10.36 to £19.31. These increases, which will inevitably hurt consumers, follow a substantial increase in charges at Heathrow and Gatwick in the past five years and a doubling of charges at Stansted in the last year. Stansted charges are also proposed to double in the coming five years.

In his letter to Mr Matthews, Andy Harrison, says:

        “We are determined to address a regulatory decision which we consider to be unlawful and damaging for the airlines, our passengers and the industry as a whole.”