British low-cost airline easyJet has said that the construction of a new runway at Heathrow Airport could result in a cut in fares on certain routes by almost a third.
This would be due to “increased competition” from other budget airlines, which could mean cheaper deals for passengers travelling from and to the UK.
The company said that its fares already are nearly 30% lower than those on legacy carriers and has encouraged MPs to back Heathrow’s expansion plans. It explained that the construction of a third runway would allow budget airlines to use the airport “at scale” for the first time.
EasyJet chief commercial officer Robert Carey said the company is working with Heathrow in a bid to ensure its requirements will be met if the expansion gets the greenlight.
He added: “EasyJet supported the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition.
“EasyJet’s costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines so easyJet’s fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today.
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“Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant economic benefits to all of the UK and that’s why we urge MPs to support the government’s national planning statement so that work can start to increase the aviation capacity for the UK.”
Heathrow’s proposed expansion was backed by cabinet ministers and Prime Minister Theresa May last week in what was described as a “historic” moment for the UK. MPs will have to vote on the matter by the end of the month.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who outlined the plan to the cabinet, said that the £14bn project would be funded privately and could be ready by 2026.
However, reactions to the proposal were mixed, with several MPs, environmentalists and nearby residents opposing the plan and claiming it would increase noise and air pollution, with an additional 700 planes passing through Heathrow every day.