Virgin to withhold Brit airport fees
Virgin Atlantic, which operates frequent flights to Barbados and other Caribbean destinations, has said it would withhold fees due to British airport operator BAA in a dispute centred on its “slow reaction” to snow at London’s Heathrow Airport last December.
Thousands of passengers were stranded at the airport in the build-up to Christmas, as BAA failed to clear runways and de-ice planes.
BAA subsequently launched an investigation under the leadership of non-executive director Sir David Begg, with a report expected at the end of March.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has said fees – believed to total some £10 million (BDS$31.1 million) – would be withheld until the completion of the review, according to the online industry newsletter Breaking Travel?News (BTN).
In response, BAA could impound Virgin planes for non-payment of fees.
However, the operator said it would work with airlines during the Begg inquiry.
A panel of experts from different airports and airlines will judge BAA’s “planning, execution and recovery”.
British Airways is also believed to be considering its options following the disruption.
The British flag-carrier last Friday announced that the Christmas disruption cost £50 million (BDS$155.6 million). (AB)