Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, confirmed that the budget carrier would open a base at an expanded Heathrow.
She said: “EasyJet would open a base at Heathrow – in addition to our other existing London bases, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend – enabling easyJet to provide new routes and increase competition on dozens more UK and European routes.
“This would include new services to Inverness, Isle of Man and Jersey and increased services and more competition for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast as well as new and increased services for many other key cities including Amsterdam, Geneva and Zurich.
“EasyJet’s costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines, so even allowing for an increase in charges at an expanded Heathrow easyJet’s fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today.”
She said the airline supports the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition.
“Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant benefits to all parts of the UK and is in the best interests of all passengers – both business and leisure, long and short haul,” said McCall.
“Expansion at Heathrow must be delivered sustainably. Local noise and environmental impacts need to be addressed and easyJet supports the Commission’s recommendations on these issues.
“We now urge the government to quickly proceed with the Commission’s recommendation and start the work to increase the aviation capacity for the UK.”
Nathan Stower, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, said: “We will study the recommendations and evidence in favour of Heathrow expansion in detail. We urge everyone to do the same with an open mind.
“The government will now consider the report’s findings before reaching its own conclusion and this does not need to be rushed.
“Additional capacity is urgently needed, but not at any price and there can be no blank cheques.
“Our priority is to ensure that the final scheme is cost effective, offers value for money for airport customers, and does not rely on today’s passengers paying now for infrastructure that wouldn’t be ready until the mid-2020s.”
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