Virgin Atlantic will demand 150 of new runway slots due to be created at Heathrow to prevent British Airways stifling competition.

Chief executive Shai Weiss said his airline should be given 43% of the 350 new take-off and landing slots when the airport’s £14 billion third runway is built by 2026.

IAG, which owns British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia, holds about 57% of Heathrow’s current capacity.

Virgin is part-owned by Delta Air Lines and Air France KLM. Together, the three account for less than 10% of Heathrow’s slots.

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New slots are distributed based on airlines’ existing proportion under existing rules.

But Weiss told The Sunday Times this would be “favouring the incumbent”.

IAG said: “Allocation should be undertaken according to internationally agreed, and very effective, world slot guidelines.”

Airlines have insisted that landing and take-off charges must not rise after expansion of the London hub.

Heathrow published its masterplan for expansion last week for public consultation running until September 13.

Meanwhile,Virgin Atlantic’s first new A350-1000 has been rolled out after having its livery painted at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.

The aircraft is due to enter service on the London-New York route later this summer.