UK fliers are set to save more when flying from Heathrow as the airport announced a 50 per cent increase in the discount for domestic flights.
From January, passengers flying to any UK destination from Heathrow will have a £15 discount on the airport charges they pay – the biggest discount in the airport’s history.
The airport claims passengers will save nearly £40 million annually.
Heathrow has been a long-time and ardent campaigner for boosting domestic flights at the UK’s hub and last year committed to keeping a discounted domestic passenger charge for at least the next twenty years as long as it is in the public interest.
The further reduction in the domestic passenger charge announced today will save passengers even more money while making domestic routes more commercially viable for airlines – encouraging them to add more domestic services.
The airport hopes the move will ease the process of building a third runway at the west London site.
The domestic discount is one plank in a package of measures Heathrow is implementing to support more flights to UK destinations – ultimately increasing the airport’s domestic connections from eight today to at least 14 when the airport expands in 2025.
Other measures include creating a £10 million fund to provide start-up capital for five new domestic routes, urging the government to use new powers after leaving the EU to ring-fence slots at the airport solely for domestic flights and campaigning for the abolition of air passenger duty on domestic flights to save UK passengers up to £225 million annually.
Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Every corner of our country should be able to benefit from the growth and trade that stems from links to the nation’s hub airport – that’s why Heathrow is making it cheaper to fly within the UK by reducing our domestic passenger charges even further for the second consecutive year.
“Putting nearly £40 million back into the pockets of British families and businesses each year will help to spur growth in every part of the UK.”
Also today, Heathrow confirmed environmental charges are re set to increase by seven per cent as the airport seeks to minimise its impact on local communities.
Airlines will be incentivised to deploy their newest aircraft at Heathrow – making the airport cleaner and quieter for local communities.
The introduction of the higher environmental charge forms part of Heathrow’s ambitious sustainability strategy Heathrow 2.0 which sets targets to deliver a more sustainable future for aviation.
It includes an aspiration to make growth from a new runway at Heathrow carbon neutral, and the use of 100 per cent renewable electricity at the airport from 2017 in a major step toward creating a zero-carbon airport.
It also proposes establishing an airside ultra-low emission zone by 2025, to improve quality of life of local communities through cleaner air.
With new public transport like Crossrail, HS2 and rail links to the west and south on the horizon – the way people travel to Heathrow is also set to be transformed, helping the airport to reach its goal of 50 per cent of passengers travelling by sustainable transport by 2030.
Holland-Kaye added: “Heathrow is determined to reduce the airport’s environmental impacts.
“Increasing our environmental charges to incentivise airlines to bring their cleanest, quietest aircraft to Heathrow is the best way to cut emissions and shrink the noise footprint around the airport.
“It is a tangible step that will make a real difference to local communities.”