London’s Heathrow airport is to charge departing passengers an extra £8.90 pounds each to cover costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Airport Cost Recovery Charge passenger levy is due to be imposed for the rest of this year and was agreed with airlines as the preferred way for Heathrow to recover its costs.The tariff is permitted by UK’s aviation regulator the CAA under a protocol that allows the hub to cover costs for utilities, baggage and check-in services.

Heathrow will make “zero profit” from levy

A statement issued by Heathrow said it would make “zero profit” from such activities, with the fees covering operating and maintenance expenses. Last week, FINN reported that the airport had posted a £2 billion loss for 2020 with a 73 per cent decline in passenger numbers. Heathrow has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with the long-haul markets it serves being all-but wiped out.

The airport will also charge a £4.44 tariff for each item of passenger luggage which is lower than one flagged on December 16 as a result of some baggage-related costs having been included in the passenger levy.

The Civil Aviation Authority is separately considering whether Heathrow should be allowed to raise the fees it charges airlines on a limited basis prior to a longer-term regulatory settlement starting next year. Heathrow has been seeking an adjustment it says would lift fares by £1.20 per passenger.

The airport is controlled by interests including Spanish builder Ferrovial SA, the Qatar Investment Authority, private-equity firm Alinda Capital Partners and China Investment Corp.

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