Heathrow airport has insisted passengers will be able to travel “as normal” during the King’s coronation despite further strike action planned next month.
The group said “robust contingency plans kept the airport running smoothly” throughout the Easter break in spite of walkouts by members of Unite union.
About 1,400 airport security guards are set to stage eight strikes in a dispute over pay, including during the coronation of the King.
Heathrow said: “Passengers can expect to travel as normal during the coronation and half term peaks, regardless of further unnecessary strike action by Unite.”
The group said it remained in the red during the first three months of the year, with underlying pre-tax losses of £139 million, though this was down sharply on the £223 million losses seen a year earlier.
Heathrow blamed this on the revenue allowance under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) settlement – which caps the average charge levied against airlines per passenger – which it said was “set too low”.
Charges are paid by airlines but are generally passed on to passengers in air fares.
The airport has asked competition regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review the CAA’s decision.
Heathrow claimed it remained Europe’s busiest airport in the first quarter, with a 74% jump in passengers to 16.9 million.
Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “2023 has got off to a strong start.”
Mr Holland-Kaye reiterated an appeal to the Government to reinstate tax-free sales for overseas visitors.
He said: “We are building our route network to connect all of Britain to the growing markets of the world – now we need the Government to lure international visitors back to the UK by scrapping the ‘tourist tax’.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reversed a plan to remove VAT from airport shopping last autumn.
His predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng had promised tourists to the UK would be able to claim a VAT refund on goods after it was first scrapped in 2021.
Published: by Radio NewsHub